[Skip to Navigation]
February 1974

Role of Platelets in Pathogenesis of Diabetic Retinopathy

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology and Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School, and the Veterans Administration Research Hospital, Chicago.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1974;91(2):107-109. doi:10.1001/archopht.1974.03900060113005

An abnormal substance in the plasma of certain diabetic patients enhances platelet aggregation. There is a correlation between the severity of diabetic retinopathy and the degree of platelet-aggregationenhancing activity in the plasma of adult diabetics. We postulate that increased platelet aggregation leads to the development of ischemic retinal lesions and thereby plays a significant role in the genesis of diabetic retinopathy. Aspirin blocks the action of the aggregation-enhancing activity of diabetic plasma nonspecifically, although it has no effect on the plasma level of the factor. Therefore, therapy with aspirin may be of value in the prevention of diabetic retinopathy.