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Introduction: Diabetic retinopathy (DR) remains a visually debilitating disease and is commonly classified according to its severity as non-proliferative DR (NPDR) or proliferative DR (PDR). Those suffering from PDR tend to have worse vascular complications and prognosis. Platelets exposed by vasculopathy caused by DR may
be activated to try to maintain haemostasis. This activity can be illustrated by the mean platelet component (MPC). Therefore, by MPC monitoring we may be able to predict the progression from NPDR into PDR.
Purpose: To investigate the difference of MPC in patients with NPDR and PDR.
Study design: Cross-sectional.
Materials and methods: This study involved 71 DR patients. Preliminary data regarding the patients’ demographic characteristics, diabetes history, related diseases, medication history, and general eye examination were recorded. Fundus photographs were taken after dilating eyedrops and DR was graded by an ophthalmologist. The patients were grouped into NPDR and PDR. Mean platelet component was analyzed using the automatic hematology analyzer ADVIA 120.
Results: Mean platelet component (MPC) was 26.69 g/dl (± 1.79) and 25.52 g/dl (± 1.20) in the NPDR and PDR group, respectively (p = 0.002), but was not clinically significant. In depth analysis into the DR grades differed significantly between mild NPDR and high-risk PDR (p = 0.015), and moderate NPDR and high-risk PDR (p = 0.024). Using our definition of mild DR (mild and moderate NPDR) and severe DR (high-risk and advanced PDR), there was a significant difference with mean MPC of 27.01 g/dl (± 1.64) and 25.31 g/dl (± 1.22), respectively (p = 0.001). The proportion of activated platelets was also higher in severe DR. Negative correlations were found between MPC with duration of DM (r = -0.333; p = 0.004) and MPC with systolic blood pressure (r = -0.241; p = 0.043).
Conclusion: There was a significant difference in MPC between NPDR and PDR, but the results should be interpreted carefully. Further analysis between the mild and severe form of DR strengthened this finding.