Date Published:2015 May
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether peripheral diabetic retinopathy (DR) lesions identified on ultrawide field (UWF) imaging are associated with increased DR progression. DESIGN: Prospective, longitudinal cohort. PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred eyes of 100 participants previously enrolled in a comparative instrument validation study. METHODS: Baseline mydriatic 7-standard field Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) photographs and UWF images were obtained. On UWF images, DR lesions with a greater extent outside versus inside standard ETDRS fields were defined as predominantly peripheral lesions (PPLs). Follow-up ETDRS photographs were obtained 4.2±0.3 years after baseline. Baseline and follow-up DR severity were graded from ETDRS photographs. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Rates of 2-step or more progression and progression to proliferative DR (PDR) in eyes with PPLs compared with eyes without PPLs identified on UWF imaging at baseline. RESULTS: In eyes without PDR (n = 109) at baseline, 56 (51%) had at least 1 field with PPLs and 43 (39%) had DR progression. Compared with eyes without PPLs, eyes with PPLs had a 3.2-fold increased risk of 2-step or more DR progression (6 [11%] vs. 19 [34%]; P = 0.005) and a 4.7-fold increased risk for progression to PDR (3 [6%] vs. 14 [25%]; P = 0.005). These findings remained statistically significant after adjusting for gender, diabetes type, diabetes duration, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels, and baseline DR severity. Increasing extent of fields with PPLs increased the risk for 2-step or more DR progression (P = 0.004) and progression to PDR (P = 0.009). CONCLUSIONS: Presence and increasing extent of PPLs were associated with increased risk of DR progression over 4 years, independent of baseline DR severity and HbA1c levels. Increasing extent of PPLs substantially increased the risk of DR progression and progression to PDR, especially with less severe DR at baseline. These findings demonstrate that detailed peripheral retinal evaluation provides important information that is necessary to assess completely the risk of DR progression.