Two retinal imaging modalities cannot be interchanged when e
Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness, which now can be diagnosed and graded with the use of a newer scanning technology called ultra-wide field (UWF) imaging, a system that generates high-quality pictures showing 80 percent of the retina in a single picture.

Diabetic retinopathy is a diabetes complication that affects eyes by damaging the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina). UFW fluorescein angiography, detects over three times more microaneurysms than UWF color imaging, suggesting that the two modalities should not be used interchangeably when evaluating and treating this vision-threatening condition according to research published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology by Mohamed Elmasry, M.D., Joslin Diabetes Center's Beetham Eye Institute.

The study involved 193 patients with diabetic retinopathy, from mild disease to the most advanced stages of the disease. In total, 288 eyes were included in the analysis. Researchers manually counted microaneurysms on both color images and fluorescein angiography and then directly compared the results. The study showed that, overall, fluorescein angiography identified up to 3.5-fold more retinal areas with more than 20 microaneurysms (severe retinopathy) than color imaging. This held true even after researchers adjusted for the patient's diabetes duration, average blood sugar levels and gender.

In certain situations, a fluorescein angiogram is a very important test, and in others, color imaging is essential for grading or diagnosing diabetic retinopathy," says study author. "It's also important for physicians to understand how, when and what test to order, and how each modality can affect patient care."

Image courtesy: Ocutech
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