Supplementary Material for: Characterization of Initial Stages of Diabetic Macular Edema

Purpose: This study is aimed at characterizing the type of retinal edema in the initial stages of retinopathy in type 2 diabetes. Methods: In this retrospective cross-sectional study, spectral domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) layer by layer analysis of the retina in association with OCT-Leakage, an algorithm to detect sites of low optical reflectivity, were used to examine eyes with minimal, mild, and moderate diabetic retinopathy (DR). Results: A total of 142 eyes from 142 patients (28% women) aged 52–88 years were imaged. Macular edema, either subclinical (SCME) or central-involved macular edema (CIME), was present in 43% of eyes in group 10–20, 41% of eyes in group 35, and 38% of eyes in group 43–47. The inner nuclear layer (INL) was the layer showing higher and most frequent increases in retinal thickness (79%). The edema was predominantly intracellular in group 10–20 (65%) and extracellular in groups 35 (77%) and 43–47 (69%). Conclusions: Eyes from diabetic patients in the initial stages of DR with different Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study gradings show similar prevalence of SCME and CIME, independent of the severity of the retinopathy. Retinal edema is located mainly in the INL and appears to be mostly extracellular except in the earliest stages of diabetic retinal disease where intracellular edema predominates.