Study Says Diabetic Vision Loss Can Be Predicted, Possibly Thwarted

Researchers have found that mapping the locations of lesions in the eye can help predict diabetic retinopathy ("diabetic blindness"). The study, published in Diabetologica, shows that early lesions are predictive of whether retinopathy will occur.

The study used image analysis algorithms and images from patients at earliest diagnosis and compared to final diagnoses. Those who eventually suffered from diabetic retinopathy were most likely to have an early retina image showing lesions in certain areas, the research found.

The evidence could be used to optimize screening programs for retinopathy.

Higher risk diabetics could have their likelihood of blindness determined early on with preventive measures or treatments being utilized before the onset of retinopathy. Plotting lesion locations relative to the retina gives a "map" of the eye that can be used to determine risk factors.

"We hope our study – and the use of these occurrence maps—will help predict diabetic retinopathy and reduce the burden of the disease. As by optimising screening programmes we hope that we can identify high risk diabetics at an early stage and deliver appropriate interventions before severe symptoms appear," said lead author Dr. Giovanni Ometto of the Crabb Lab in the Division of Optometry and Vision Science at City, University of London.

The research team at City continues its work towards a reduction in patients with vision loss through finding early indicators that can change how resources are used to treat patients. They are using images taken with Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT).

Source: MedicalXpress.com

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