Ultra-widefield retinal imaging found to facilitate telehealth evaluation for diabetic retinopathy

Silva PS, et al. Diabetes Care. Aug 12, 2013; doi: 10.2337/dc13-1292.

  • November 14, 2013

When compared with nonmydriatic fundus photography, nonmydriatic ultra-widefield retinal imaging was found to reduce the ungradable rate by 71% and image evaluation time by 28% in a diabetic retinopathy ocular telehealth program, according to a study.

According to the study published in Diabetes Care, 1,633 patients with diabetes were evaluated for diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema using nonmydriatic fundus photography (NMFP) and 2,170 were evaluated with ultra-widefield retinal imaging (UWFI). No statistically significant differences in regard to age, diabetes duration, gender, ethnicity or insulin existed between the groups.

The ungradable rate was lower with UWFI when compared to NMFP for diabetic retinopathy (2.9% vs. 9.9%) and diabetic macular edema (3.8% vs. 8.8%), according to the study abstract. The median image evaluation time was lower with UWFI compared to NMFP: 9.2 minutes vs. 12.8 minutes.

UWFI also fared better than NMFP at identifying patients with diabetic retinopathy (38.4% vs. 33.8%) and vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy (14.5% vs. 11.9%).

The authors concluded: “These data suggest that UWFI may improve efficiency of ocular telehealth programs evaluating diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema.”

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