Association of Maximizing Visible Retinal Area by Manual Eyelid Lifting With Grading of Diabetic Retinopathy Severity and Detection of Predominantly Peripheral Lesions When Using Ultra-Widefield Imaging. JAMA Ophthalmol 2022;140(4):421-425.Abstract.
Importance: Methods that increase visible retinal area (VRA; measured in millimeters squared) may improve identification of diabetic retinopathy (DR) lesions. Objective: To evaluate the association of dilation and manual eyelid lifting (MLL) with VRA on ultra-widefield imaging (UWFI) and the association of VRA with grading of DR severity and detection of predominantly peripheral lesions (PPLs). Design, Setting, and Participants: Retrospective, comparative case-control study at the Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, Massachusetts. Nonmydriatic UWFI with MLL was acquired from a DR teleophthalmology program (Joslin Vision Network [JVN]). A second cohort of mydriatic UWFI was acquired at an academic retina practice (Beetham Eye Institute [BEI]) from November 6, 2017, to November 6, 2018, and with MLL thereafter until November 6, 2019. Fully automated algorithms determined VRA and hemorrhage and/or microaneurysm (HMA) counts. Predominantly peripheral lesions and HMAs were defined as present when at least 1 field had greater HMA number in the peripheral retina than within the corresponding Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study field. Participants included 3014 consecutive patients (5919 eyes) undergoing retinal imaging at JVN and BEI. Exposures: Dilation and MLL performed at the time of UWFI. Main Outcomes and Measures: Visible retinal area, DR severity, and presence of PPLs. Results: Of the 3014 participants, mean (SD) age was 56.1 (14.5) years, 1302 (43.2%) were female, 2450 (81.3%) were White, and mean (SD) diabetes duration was 15.9 (11.4) years. All images from 5919 eyes with UWFI were analyzed. Mean (SD) VRA was 665.1 (167.6) mm2 for all eyes (theoretical maximal VRA, 923.9 mm2), 550.8 (240.7) mm2 for nonmydriatic JVN with MLL (1418 eyes [24.0%]), 688.1 (119.9) mm2 for mydriatic BEI images (3650 eyes [61.7%]), and 757.0 (69.7) mm2 for mydriatic and MLL BEI images (851 eyes [14.4%]). Dilation increased VRA by 25% (P < .001) and MLL increased VRA an additional 10% (P < .001). Nonmydriatic MLL increased VRA by 11.0%. With MLL, HMA counts in UWFI fields increased by 41.7% (from 4.8 to 6.8; P < .001). Visible retinal area was moderately associated with increasing PPL-HMA overall and in each cohort (all, r = 0.33; BEI, r = 0.29; JVN, r = 0.36; P < .001). In JVN images, increasing VRA was associated with more PPL-HMA (quartile 1 [Q1], 23.7%; Q2, 45.8%; Q3, 60.6%; and Q4, 69.2%; P < .001). Conclusions and Relevance: Using fully automated VRA and HMA detection algorithms, pupillary dilation and eyelid lifting were shown to substantially increase VRA and PLL-HMA detection. Given the importance of HMA and PPL for determining risk of DR progression, these findings emphasize the importance of maximizing VRA for optimal risk assessment in clinical trials and teleophthalmology programs.