J Korean Ophthalmol Soc.  1999 Dec;40(12):3377-3383.

The Relation of Microalbuminuria with Diabetic Retinopathy in Diabetic Patients without Proteinuria

  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, The Catholic University Medical College, Uijongbu St. Mary's Hospital.
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, The Catholic University Medical College, Uijongbu St. Mary's Hospital.


It has been well known that diabetic retinopathy is related to proteinuria in diabetes. However there still remains a controversy regarding the association between microalbuminuria and diabetic retinopathy. To know the effect of microalbuminuria on the development of diabetic retinopathy, we studied the presence of microalbuminuria in 80 diabetic patients who had no proteinuria or a history of renal disease were included in this study. We examined 24 hour microalbuminuria by radioimmunoassay and examined the presence and severity of diabetic retinopathy. Among the total of 80 patients with diabetes, microalbuminuria[20microgram/min] was found in 40%[32 patients] and diabetic retinopathy was in 46.3%[37 patients]. The prevalence of microalbuminuria was higher in diabetic retinopathy group[73.0%, 27 of 37 patients] than in normal control group[11.6%, 5 of 43 patients][p<0.001]. The amount of microalbuminuria showed significant correlation with the severity of diabetic retinopathy[r=0.461, p<0.001]. Duration of diabetes was significantly longer in diabetic retinopathy group than in normal group[10.8+/-5.3 years vs 4.8+/-4.1 years, p<0.001]. There was no statistical significance in blood pressure, fasting blood sugar, HbA1 C, serum cholesterol or lipid between the two groups. With these above results, we suggest that microalbuminuria may be associated with the development of diabetic retinopathy in diabetes and thus, microalbuminuria may be a useful marker for the early detection of diabetic retinopathy.


Diabetic retinopathy; Microalbuminuria; Proteinuria
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