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Rossi S., Romano M., Rinaldi B, Capuano A. , Avolio A.
Diabetes complications are common and they are classified as macrovascular or microvascular. Microvascular complications are retinopathy, neuropathy and diabetic nephropathy. Diabetic retinopathy is the most frequent of the several complications of diabetes and it is caused by failure of the retinal microvascular circulation, which results in ischemia. Current approaches for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy are: pentoxifylline, sulodexide, coenzyme Q10, oligomeric proanthocianydins and calcium dobesilate. Experimental therapies are: inhibitors of renin-angiotensin system, ACE-inhibitors, antioxidant drugs, protein kinase C inhibitors and somatostatin analogues. Components of the renin-angiotensin system have been found in the retina, and increased levels of prorenin, renin and angiotensin II (AII) have been reported in the vitreous of patients with diabetic retinopathy. Accordingly, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-inhibitors) or AII type 1 (AT1) receptor blockers may be used as therapeutic agents for preventing the progression of diabetic retinopathy.