Is it safe to increase diabetic retinopathy screening intervals in patients with no background diabetic retinopathy?

Chambers, H.; Balu, S.B.; Wharton, H.W.; Dodson, P.M.D. and Gibson, J.M. (2013). Is it safe to increase diabetic retinopathy screening intervals in patients with no background diabetic retinopathy? European Journal of Ophthalmology, 23 (3), p. 455.

Abstract

Introduction. A 4 year retrospective follow up of 996 patients who pre-sented with no DR and 500 with background DR at baseline digital DR screening in 2006. Purpose. To evaluate the safety of increasing screening intervals in patients with no diabetic retinopathy (DR) or with background DR.Methods. A 4 year retrospective follow up of 996 patients who presented with no DR and 500 with background DR at baseline digital DR screening in 2006.results. Background DR Group: Of the 500 subjects that had back-ground DR in 2006, 231 were referred for DR, with an average DR routine referral rate of 12% (46 subjects) per year. nodrgrouP. Of the 996 patients who had no DR at baseline, 51 were referred over the 4 years for sight threatening DR (STDR), of these 45 patients have definite STDR confirmed by ophthalmological examination. 78% of these had type 2 diabetes and mean age at referral was 60 years (25-87). Mean diabetes duration was 10.7 years (3-32), with a mean HbA1c of 7.8% (5.7-11.3%). Eight patients (0.9%) were referred in the first year, 9 (0.9%) in the second year, 19 (1.9%) in the third year and 15 (1.5%) in the fourth year. 86% of referrals were for maculopathy, and all had observable retinopathy and none required ophthalmology clinic assessment or laser treatment.If biannual screening was adopted for patients with no DR at baseline, allowing for patients who subsequently develop background DR and would then revert to annual screening, a total of 7 (0.7%) patients would not have been appropriately referred for STDR and would have waited a further year for identification. None of the 51 referrals across the 4 years required laser treatment apart from just one patient who developed PDR in year 4 (2010) and had background since 2007.conclusIons. It could be recommended that it is safe to screen pa-tients with no DR biannually due to the low risk of developing STDR. However, patients who present with background DR should continue to be screened annually as there is a significant proportion developing STDR and would not be identified at an appropriate screening interval.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.5301/ejo.5000276
Divisions: Life & Health Sciences > Optometry
Life & Health Sciences > Ophthalmic Research Group
Life & Health Sciences > Health Sciences
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Additional Information: Abstract of the 23rd Meeting of the
 European Association for the Study of Diabetes
 Eye Complications Study Group (EASDec)

, Barcelona (ES) 23–25 May 2013.
Uncontrolled Keywords: screening,diabetic retinopathy
Published Date: 2013-05

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