MICROANEURYSM FORMATION RATE AS A PREDICTIVE MARKER FOR PROGRESSION TO CLINICALLY SIGNIFICANT MACULAR EDEMA IN NONPROLIFERATIVE DIABETIC RETINOPATHY
To evaluate the predictive value of microaneurysm (MA) formation rate concerning the development of clinically significant macular edema (CSME) in patients with mild-to-moderate nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy as evaluated by an automated analysis of central field fundus 30° photographs.Methods:
Two hundred and eighty-seven eyes were included in the study. Photographs obtained at Day 0, at 6, and 12 months were analyzed using the RetmarkerDR software (Critical Health SA) in a masked manner, and the MA formation rate was documented. A threshold of a calculated MA formation rate of 2 or more was chosen to consider a patient “positive.” The ability to predict CSME development was then calculated for a period of up to 5 years. HbA1c values, blood pressure, or duration of diabetes were also evaluated.Results:
The study population consisted of 89 male and 59 female patients with a mean age of 57.6 years, a mean HbA1c of 7.8, and a mean duration of diabetes of 12.3 years. Forty-seven of 287 eyes (16.4%) developed CSME during follow-up. An increased MA formation rate of >2 MA was clearly associated with development of CSME. Using the automated analysis and a threshold of 2 or more new MA, the authors were able to identify 70.2% of the eyes that developed CSME during follow-up (“true positive”) and using a threshold of up to 2 new MA, 71.7% of the patients that did not develop CSME (“true negative”). No significant differences concerning baseline and 1-year HbA1c levels within patient eyes that developed CSME compared with patient eyes below or over the calculated threshold of 2 MA (P = 0.554 and P = 0.890, respectively) were seen. The positive and negative predictive value was calculated to be 33% versus 92.5%, sensitivity was 70%, and specificity was 72%.Conclusion:
Using the RetmarkerDR software, the authors were able to identify patients with higher risk to develop CSME during follow-up using a threshold of 2 or more MA formation rate. Together with the high negative predictive value, the automated analysis may help to determine the individual risk of a patient to develop sight-threatening complications related to diabetic retinopathy and schedule individual screening intervals.