Dermopathy and retinopathy in diabetes: Is there an association?


Volume 2 - Number

Article Type: ---- Unspecified ----

Background/Aims: Diabetic dermopathy is the most common cutaneous marker of diabetes mellitus presenting as single or multiple well-demarcated brown atrophic macules, predominantly on the shins. Although diabetic dermopathy and diabetic retinopathy are both considered by some authors as manifestations of diabetic microangiopathy, only a few studies are published about their possible association. Our purpose was to investigate the association of diabetic dermopathy and diabetic retinopathy. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study in an outpatient diabetes clinic during a 6-month period. One-hundred and eighty-one consecutive patients (8 cases of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and 173 cases of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus) were examined for the presence of diabetic dermopathy and diabetic retinopathy. Results: Forty-seven (26%) showed diabetic dermopathy and 68 patients (37.6%) suffered from diabetic retinopathy. The frequency of retinopathy in patients with diabetic dermopathy (44%; 30 cases) was significantly greater than in patients without dermopathy (15%; 17 cases; p < 0.0001). Retinopathy showed a statistically significant association with dermopathy [odds ratio (OR): 3.60; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.53 - 8.44; p = 0.003] and diabetes duration (OR: 3.36; 95% CI: 1.67 - 6.77; p = 0.001). Conclusion: Our study further supports that diabetic dermopathy might be used as a telltale sign of diabetic retinopathy, necessitating more intensive ophthalmologic care, especially in long-lasting diabetes. Copyright (c) 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel.