To correlate Heidelberg Retina Tomograph (HRT) derived macular edema (DME) index with severity of diabetic retinopathy and systemic factors. A total of 300 diabetic patients were recruited for the study for each of them a value for the macular edema index was obtained using the HRT II. Patients' age, gender, duration and type of diabetes mellitus, latest HbA1c result and presence or absence of co-morbid factors (hypertension, ischemic heart disease, nephropathy) were recorded together with the stage of diabetic retinopathy. These were correlated with DME. Out of 300 patients, HRT defined macula edema was seen in 68 patients (22.6%). There is a wider and higher range (95% percentile) of macula edema index in the severe non proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) group. Independent samples t test showed significant difference between the severe NPDR group and no DR group (p<0.001), mild NPDR group (p<0.05) and moderate NPDR group (p<0.05). A higher macula edema index was also found to have a low degree of correlation with more advanced stages of retinopathy (r=0.310; p<0.001). Also nephropathy showed a strong and significant correlation with DME. Hypertension had moderately significant correlation with DME. This study found no correlation between ischemic heart disease and DME. HRT derived scanning laser edema index is a reliable objective tool to evaluate diabetic retinopathy and systemic risk factors.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.