Damage in retinal periphery closely matches loss of blood flow in people with diabetes

Research from the Joslin Diabetes Center’s Beetham Eye Institute demonstrated earlier this year that in people with diabetic retinopathy, the presence of lesions in the periphery of their retina substantially increases the risk that the disease will progress more rapidly. A follow-up study has shown that these peripheral lesions, which are not detected by traditional eye imaging, correlate very closely with the loss of retinal blood flow called retinal “non-perfusion” caused by loss of small blood vessels or capillaries.
In research reported this week in Ophthalmology, the Joslin scientists used ultra-wide-field (UWF) imaging to examine the eyes of 37 patients with diabetes and varying levels of retinopathy ranging from no disease to very advanced disease. UWF retinal imaging can view more than 80 percent of the retina in a single image. In comparison, traditional clinical retinal imaging combines seven smaller photos to cover about a third of the retina, says Paolo Silva, M.D., staff ophthalmologist and assistant chief of telemedicine at the Beetham Eye Institute.

Areas of non-perfusion were identified by UWF retinal angiography, which detects blood flow after patients are injected with a fluorescent dye. “With the UWF angiograms, we can more accurately measure the extent of non-perfusion in the peripheral and examine how this relates to the increased risk for retinopathy progression over time,” says Silva, who is lead author on the paper.
The areas of non-perfusion matched up very closely with the peripheral lesions detected when these patients’ eyes were scanned by normal UWF imaging, he emphasizes…….
More: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-09-retinal-periphery-loss-blood-people.html
Source: Medical Xpress
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