The association between glycated haemoglobin levels and P100 visual evoked potentials in diabetes mellitus

  • Mark Nagle

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisOphthalmic Doctorate


Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disorder which is characterised by hyperglycaemia resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action or both. The long-term specific effects of DM include the development of retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy. Cardiac disease, peripheral arterial and cerebrovascular disease are also known to be linked with DM. Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) accounts for approximately 10% of all individuals with DM, and insulin therapy is the only available treatment. Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) accounts for 90% of all individuals with DM. Diet, exercise, oral hypoglycaemic agents and occasionally exogenous insulin are used to manage T2DM. The diagnosis of DM is made where the glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) percentage is greater than 6.5%. Pattern-reversal visual evoked potential (PVEP) testing is an objective means of evaluating impulse conduction along the central nervous pathways. Increased peak time of the visual P100 waveform is an expression of structural damage at the level of myelinated optic nerve fibres. This was an observational cross sectional study. The participants were grouped into two phases. Phase 1, the control group, consisted of 30 healthy non-diabetic participants. Phase 2 comprised of 104 diabetic participants of whom 52 had an HbA1c greater than 10% (poorly controlled DM) and 52 whose HbA1c was 10% and less (moderately controlled DM). The aim of this study was to firstly observe the possible association between glycated haemoglobin levels and P100 peak time of pattern-reversal visual evoked potentials (PVEPs) in DM. Secondly, to assess whether the central nervous system (CNS) and in particular visual function is affected by type and/or duration of DM. The cut-off values to define P100 peak time delay was calculated as the mean P100 peak time plus 2.5 X standard deviations as measured for the non-diabetic control group, and were 110.64 ms for the right eye. The proportion of delayed P100 peak time amounted to 38.5% for both diabetic groups, thus the poorly controlled group (HbA1c > 10%) did not pose an increased risk for delayed P100 peak time, relative to the moderately controlled group (HbA1c ≤ 10%). The P100 PVEP results for this study, do however, reflect significant delay (p < 0.001) of the DM group as compared to the non-diabetic group; thus, subclincal neuropathy of the CNS occurs in 38.5% of cases. The duration of DM and type of DM had no influence on the P100 peak time measurements.
Date of Award24 Mar 2016
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorHannah Bartlett (Supervisor) & Frank Eperjesi (Supervisor)


  • diabetes mellitus
  • glycated haemoglobin percentage
  • visual evoked percentage

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