Patients who are deficient in vitamin C may be more likely to have retinal thinning, study shows. Photo: Bruna Branco/Unsplash. Click image to enlarge.
A recent study investigating the impact of vitamin C on both retinal and choroidal thickness found that both were thinner among patients with vitamin C deficiency compared with their healthy counterparts. This suggests vitamin C deficiency may play a role in retinal and choroidal diseases, according to the investigators.
The study included 69 patients with vitamin C deficiency and 1:1 age- and gender-matched healthy individuals with normal serum vitamin C. The researchers recorded demographic characteristics, and all patients underwent a comprehensive ophthalmic examination. Swept-source OCT was used to measure subfoveal choroidal thickness and retinal thickness.
Data showed that the average retinal thickness was 269.07±13.51μm in the vitamin C deficiency group compared with 276.92±13.51μm among patients in the control group. The study authors reported an average choroidal thickness of 195.62±66.40μm in patients with vitamin C deficiency vs. 238.86±55.08μm in healthy individuals.
When comparing the two groups, the researchers observed a significant decrease in both average choroidal and retinal thickness among patients with vitamin C deficiency vs. healthy individuals with normal serum vitamin C.
“In conclusion, there is a strong relationship of vitamin C deficiency with choroidal and retinal thinning, for the unique antioxidant/protective activities in the retina,” the study authors noted. “Given that patients with vitamin C deficiency might lead to the development of choroidal and retinal vasculature problems, it might help new strategies for prevention of treatment for oxidative stress in retinopathy.”
Qian Y, Wang L, Qiang X, et al. Choroidal and retinal thickness in patients with vitamin C deficiency using swept-source optical coherence tomography. BMC Ophthalmol. July 18, 2022. [Epub ahead of print].