Sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors and diabetic retinopathy: insights into preservation of sight and looking beyond

Sejal Lahoti, Mouhamed Nashawi, Omar Sheikh, David Massop, Mahnoor Mir, Robert Chilton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 Inhibitors (SGLT2i) were initially developed as therapeutic options for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Recently, randomized clinical trials have investigated their effects in cardiorenal protection through major adverse cardiovascular event reduction and reductions in diabetic nephropathy. While multiple mechanisms are proposed for this protection, microvascular protection is the primary component of their efficacy. While not primarily emphasized in clinical trials, evidence in other studies suggests that SGLT2i may confer retinoprotective effects via some of the same mechanisms in the aforementioned cardiorenal trials. Diabetic patients are susceptible to vision loss with chronic hyperglycemia promoting inflammation, edema, and retinal pathological changes. Targeting these pathways via SGLT2i may represent opportunities for providers to decrease retinopathy in high-risk T2DM patients, reduce disease progression, and lower drug burden in diabetic retinopathy patients. Further comprehensive clinical trials investigating these associations are needed to establish the potential retinoprotective effects of SGLT2i.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-13
Number of pages11
JournalCardiovascular Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 18 2020


  • diabetes
  • diabetic
  • diabetology
  • microvascular
  • ophthalmology
  • retina
  • retinopathy
  • sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors
  • translational biology
  • vision loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


Dive into the research topics of 'Sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors and diabetic retinopathy: insights into preservation of sight and looking beyond'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this