Liraglutide Treatment Does Not Induce Changes in the Peripapillary Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness in Patients with Diabetic Retinopathy

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Thomas Arendt Nielsen
  • Rok Sega
  • Carl Uggerhøj Andersen
  • Henrik Vorum
  • Asbjørn Mohr Drewes
  • Poul Erik Jakobsen
  • Brock, Birgitte
  • Christina Brock

Purpose: Liraglutide treatment has shown promising anti-inflammatory and nerve regenerative results in preclinical and clinical trials. We sought to assess if liraglutide treatment would induce nerve regeneration through its anti-inflammatory and neurotrophic mechanisms by increasing peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness in individuals with long-term type 1 diabetes. Methods: Secondary analyses were performed on a prospective, double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trial on adults with type 1 diabetes, distal symmetric polyneuropathy (DSPN), and confirmed diabetic retinopathy, who were randomized 1:1 to either 26 weeks placebo or liraglutide treatment. The primary endpoint was a change in peripapillary RNFL thickness between treatments, assessed by optical coherence tomography. Results: Thirty-seven participants were included in the secondary analysis. No differences in mean peripapillary RNFL thickness (overall ΔMean RNFL thickness; liraglutide -1 (±8) μm (-1%) vs. placebo -1 (±5) μm (-1%), P = 0.78, n = 37) or any of the quadrants. Peripapillary RNFL thicknesses were shown between treatments in either nonproliferative (ΔMean RNFL thickness; liraglutide -1 (±5) μm (-1%) vs. placebo 0 (±4) μm (0%), P = 0.80, N = 26) or proliferative diabetic retinopathy subgroup (ΔMean RNFL thickness; liraglutide -2 (±14) μm (-3%) vs. placebo -1 (±6) μm (-2%), P = 0.88, N = 11). Conclusions: In this study, 26 weeks of liraglutide treatment did not induce measurable changes in the assessed optic nerve thickness. Thus, this methodology does not support the induction of substantial nerve regeneration in this cohort with established retinopathy and DSPN. The trial was approved by the Danish Health and Medicines Authority. Informed consent was obtained from all participants.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)114-121
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Mary Ann Liebert Inc.

    Research areas

  • diabetic retinopathy, GLP-1 agonist, liraglutide, nerve fiber layer, optical coherence tomography

ID: 321650462