New Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Approaches Allow for Faster Detection With Lower Burden on Ophthalmologists

June 23, 2009

As reported on MedPage Today, two new studies report that new screening approaches for diabetic retinopathy appeared to retain good specificity and sensitivity for detection while reducing the burden on ophthalmologists and patients.

In the first study, 1,229 people with diabetes and no or minimal insurance were screened. A trained technician took retinal pictures, determined the presence of significant retinopathy using EyePacs imaging software, and provided immediate referral if it was present.

A retinal specialist independently read all the images to determine accuracy of the screening. Comparing them, the technician’s screening had an overall accuracy of 92% with a specificity of 96% and sensitivity of 86%.

With this screening strategy,technicians could do preliminary screening, with only positive screens sent to a retinal specialist for review to maximize use of the specialist’s time and expertise. Patients also benefit from accurate, sameday evaluation without long wait times as well as an opportunity for patient education.

A second study compared outcomes of dilated seven-field retinal photography with single-field photography without dilation encompassing only the central 45ยบ of the retina most vital for vision-threatening complications.

The study concluded that the single-field method would be accurate “when used in conjunction with integrated diabetes care.”

Read further details on MedPage Today.




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