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Diabetes Technol Ther. 2000 Spring;2(1):111-3.

Retinal imaging techniques in diabetes.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, 35233-7013, USA.


Diabetic retinopathy is progressive, and detection early is essential for the prevention of blindness. Doppler flowmetry, retinal photography, scanning laser ophthalmoscopy, and retinal oximetry measurements may identify proliferative disease early. Drawbacks of these methods include lack of compliance, failure to refer, and failure to identify disease early. As a result, diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness. Our retinal oximeter measures the blood oxygen saturation in the large vessels of the retina near the optic disc. Retinal vessel oxygen saturations measured with our instrument are sensitive indicators of blood loss and hypoxia in swine. We are generating scientific data that suggests that retinal vessel oxygen saturations may be used to identify retinal hypoxia prior to changes in retinal vessel architecture. We expect to study humans within the next two years, and a clinically useful eye oximeter should be available in the near future.

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