Peripheral capillary non-perfusion in treatment-naïve proliferative diabetic retinopathy associates with postoperative disease activity 6 months after panretinal photocoagulation

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Abstract

Background/aims

With the perspective to provide individualised panretinal laser photocoagulation (PRP) for proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), we evaluated if retinal peripheral capillary non-perfusion (PCNP) and oximetry, as non-invasive markers of retinal metabolism and function, could predict disease activity 6 months after PRP.

Methods

We performed a prospective, interventional study of patients with treatment-naïve PDR. Retinal oximetry and ultra-widefield fluorescein angiography were performed at baseline (BL) and three (3M) and 6 months (6M) after PRP by a navigated laser system. At 6M follow-up, patients were divided according to disease activity: active or inactive.

Results

We included 33 eyes, and 69.6% were men. At BL, the median age and duration of diabetes (with IQRs) were 51.6±23.4 and 20.0±15.0 years. Haemoglobin A1c was 63.0±17.0 mmol/mol and blood pressure was 152±37/82±24 mm Hg. At BL and M6, patients with postoperative disease activity (30.3.%, n=10) had a larger area with PCNP than those with inactive PDR (BL: 51%-75% vs 26%-50%, p=0.03; 6M: 51%-75% vs 26%-50%, p=0.03). The area of PCNP did not change from BL to 6M in either group (inactive PDR: p=0.38, active PDR: p=0.87). Changes in retinal oxygen saturation were not found to be clinical relevant.

Conclusion

We found the area of PCNP at all timepoints to be statistically larger in patients with active PDR 6 months after PRP treatment. Therefore, the area of PCNP, at baseline, may serve as a potential predictive marker for PDR activity after treatment.

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