Article Type

Original Study


Objective The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy. Background Diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with significant morbidity and mortality as a result of both microvascular and macrovascular complications. Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and HCV infection are two major public health problems worldwide. Patients and methods In this study, we examined 70 patients with T2DM who were selected for this prospective study from the outpatient clinics of Internal Medicine and Ophthalmology Departments. Patients were classified into two groups: group I and group II: group I comprised 38 patients with T2DM without HCV infection. Group II comprised 32 patients with T2DM with positive HCV infection. All patients were subjected to detailed history taking, clinical examination, and laboratory investigations including complete blood picture, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C) level, PCR test to prove the presence of HCV infection, prothrombin time, international normalized ratio, fibrinogen, platelet count and mean platelet volume, liver function tests including aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, serum albumin, and total serum bilirubin, and ophthalmoscopic examinations for diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy. Results Retinopathy was higher in T2DM patients: 27 (71.1%) patients were positive for retinopathy and 11 (28.9%) patients were negative, compared with chronic HCV-DM patients, among whom 13 (40.6%) were positive for retinopathy and 19 (59.4%) were negative. This difference is high enough to produce significant statistical difference (P = 0.014). Platelet count, fibrinogen concentration, and mean platelet volume were increased in diabetic retinopathy patients. International normalized ratio and prothrombin time levels were significantly higher in diabetic patients with chronic HCV infection than in diabetic patients without HCV infection. Conclusion Diabetic retinopathy was significantly higher in diabetic patients without chronic HCV infection than in diabetic patients with chronic HCV infection.