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Acta Ophthalmol. 2010 Jun;88(4):449-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-3768.2008.01440.x. Epub 2009 Jul 14.

Risk of retinal neovascularization in the second eye in patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

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1
School of Medicine, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study aimed to evaluate the risk of proliferative diabetic retinopathy (DR) in the fellow eye of an eye with existing proliferative DR.

METHODS:

Our DR screening programme database listed 1513 diabetes patients alive at the time of the study. Seventy-six had proliferative DR in one or both eyes.

RESULTS:

In 28 of the 76 (37%) diabetes patients, proliferative DR was diagnosed in both eyes at the same examination. Another 28 patients developed proliferative DR in the second eye within 5 years of its diagnosis in the first eye, bringing the total number of diabetes patients with proliferative DR in both eyes at 5 years to 56 (74%). Almost all the diabetes patients eventually developed proliferative DR in the second eye. The median duration of diabetes before the development of proliferative retinopathy was 19 years for type 1 and 14 years for type 2 diabetes.

CONCLUSIONS:

Proliferative DR is a bilateral disease. Diabetes patients with proliferative DR in one eye are at high risk of developing neovascularization in the second eye and close follow-up is recommended.

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