IMPORTANCE: Panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) is the standard treatment for reducing severe visual loss from proliferative diabetic retinopathy. However, PRP can damage the retina, resulting in peripheral vision loss or worsening diabetic macular edema (DME). OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the noninferiority of intravitreous ranibizumab compared with PRP for visual acuity outcomes in patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Randomized clinical trial conducted at 55 US sites among 305 adults with proliferative diabetic retinopathy enrolled between February and December 2012 (mean age, 52 years; 44% female; 52% white). Both eyes were enrolled for 89 participants (1 eye to each study group), with a total of 394 study eyes. The final 2-year visit was completed in January 2015. INTERVENTIONS: Individual eyes were randomly assigned to receive PRP treatment, completed in 1 to 3 visits (n = 203 eyes), or ranibizumab, 0.5 mg, by intravitreous injection at baseline and as frequently as every 4 weeks based on a structured re-treatment protocol (n = 191 eyes). Eyes in both treatment groups could receive ranibizumab for DME. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcome was mean visual acuity change at 2 years (5-letter noninferiority margin; intention-to-treat analysis). Secondary outcomes included visual acuity area under the curve, peripheral visual field loss, vitrectomy, DME development, and retinal neovascularization. RESULTS: Mean visual acuity letter improvement at 2 years was +2.8 in the ranibizumab group vs +0.2 in the PRP group (difference, +2.2; 95% CI, -0.5 to +5.0; P < .001 for noninferiority). The mean treatment group difference in visual acuity area under the curve over 2 years was +4.2 (95% CI, +3.0 to +5.4; P < .001). Mean peripheral visual field sensitivity loss was worse (-23 dB vs -422 dB; difference, 372 dB; 95% CI, 213-531 dB; P < .001), vitrectomy was more frequent (15% vs 4%; difference, 9%; 95% CI, 4%-15%; P < .001), and DME development was more frequent (28% vs 9%; difference, 19%; 95% CI, 10%-28%; P < .001) in the PRP group vs the ranibizumab group, respectively. Eyes without active or regressed neovascularization at 2 years were not significantly different (35% in the ranibizumab group vs 30% in the PRP group; difference, 3%; 95% CI, -7% to 12%; P = .58). One eye in the ranibizumab group developed endophthalmitis. No significant differences between groups in rates of major cardiovascular events were identified. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Among eyes with proliferative diabetic retinopathy, treatment with ranibizumab resulted in visual acuity that was noninferior to (not worse than) PRP treatment at 2 years. Although longer-term follow-up is needed, ranibizumab may be a reasonable treatment alternative, at least through 2 years, for patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy. TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01489189.
PURPOSE: To assess whether the presence of peripheral nonperfusion on ultrawide field (UWF) fluorescein angiography (FA) is associated with diabetic retinopathy (DR) severity and the presence of predominantly peripheral lesions (PPLs). DESIGN: Single-site, cross-sectional, retrospective study. PARTICIPANTS: Sixty-eight eyes of 37 diabetic subjects with or without DR and no history of prior panretinal laser photocoagulation. METHODS: Both 200° UWF images and UWF FA images were acquired at the same visit. Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) templates were overlaid digitally based on disc and macula location onto stereographically projected UWF images. Images were evaluated for the presence of PPLs, defined as more than 50% of the graded lesion located outside the ETDRS field in each of the 5 extended fields. The UWF-FA images were evaluated by 2 masked, independent graders for extent of retinal nonperfusion area (NPA) and nonperfusion index (NPI; nonperfused/total gradable area). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Association of NPA and NPI with DR severity and presence of PPLs. RESULTS: Distribution of DR severity was as follows: no DR, 8.8% eyes; mild nonproliferative DR (NPDR), 17.6%; moderate NPDR, 32.4%; severe NPDR, 17.6%; proliferative DR (PDR), 19.1%; and high-risk PDR, 4.4%; with PPL present in 61.8%. There was strong intragrader (r = 0.95) and intergrader (r = 0.86) agreement for NPA. Presence of PPLs was associated with increased NPA (191.8 mm(2) vs. 306.1 mm(2); P = 0.0019) and NPI (0.25 vs. 0.43; P = 0.0003). These relationships remained significant after adjusting for DR severity and diabetes duration. In eyes without PDR (n = 52), increasing NPA and NPI was associated with worsening DR (NPA, P = 0.001; NPI, P = 0.0003). NPA and NPI were not associated with clinically significant macular edema (NPA, P = 0.99; NPI, P = 0.67), nor correlated with visual acuity (NPA, r = 0.14, P = 0.23; NPI, r = 0.24, P = 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Following a standardized protocol, the evaluation of UWF FA for NPA and NPI is reproducible. Both parameters are correlated highly with the presence of PPLs and DR severity. Given that the presence and extent of PPLs have been associated with increased risks of DR progression, the clinical identification of PPLs may reflect closely the extent of nonperfusion and ischemia, thus accounting for the increased risk of progression.
PURPOSE: Epiretinal fibrovascular membranes (FVMs) are a hallmark of proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). Surgical removal of FVMs is often indicated to treat tractional retinal detachment. This potentially informative pathological tissue is usually disposed of after surgery without further examination. We developed a method for isolating and characterizing cells derived from FVMs and correlated their expression of specific markers in culture with that in tissue. METHODS: FVMs were obtained from 11 patients with PDR during diabetic vitrectomy surgery and were analyzed with electron microscopy (EM), comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), immunohistochemistry, and/or digested with collagenase II for cell isolation and culture. Antibody arrays and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were used to profile secreted angiogenesis-related proteins in cell culture supernatants. RESULTS: EM analysis of the FVMs showed abnormal vessels composed of endothelial cells with large nuclei and plasma membrane infoldings, loosely attached perivascular cells, and stromal cells. The cellular constituents of the FVMs lacked major chromosomal aberrations as shown with CGH. Cells derived from FVMs (C-FVMs) could be isolated and maintained in culture. The C-FVMs retained the expression of markers of cell identity in primary culture, which define specific cell populations including CD31-positive, alpha-smooth muscle actin-positive (SMA), and glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive (GFAP) cells. In primary culture, secretion of angiopoietin-1 and thrombospondin-1 was significantly decreased in culture conditions that resemble a diabetic environment in SMA-positive C-FVMs compared to human retinal pericytes derived from a non-diabetic donor. CONCLUSIONS: C-FVMs obtained from individuals with PDR can be isolated, cultured, and profiled in vitro and may constitute a unique resource for the discovery of cell signaling mechanisms underlying PDR that extends beyond current animal and cell culture models.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the ability of trained nonphysician retinal imagers to perform diabetic retinopathy (DR) evaluation at the time of ultrawide field retinal (UWF) imaging in a teleophthalmology program. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Clinic patients with diabetes received Joslin Vision Network protocol retinal imaging as part of their standard medical care. Retinal imagers evaluated UWF images for referable DR at the time of image capture. Training of the imagers included 4 h of standardized didactic lectures and 12 h of guided image review. Real-time evaluations were compared with standard masked gradings performed at a centralized reading center. RESULTS: A total of 3,978 eyes of 1,989 consecutive patients were imaged and evaluated. By reading center evaluation, 3,769 eyes (94.7%) were gradable for DR, 1,376 (36.5%) had DR, and 580 (15.3%) had referable DR. Compared with the reading center, real-time image evaluation had a sensitivity and specificity for identifying more than minimal DR of 0.95 (95% CI 0.94-0.97) and 0.84 (0.82-0.85), respectively, and 0.99 (0.97-1.00) and 0.76 (0.75-0.78), respectively, for detecting referable DR. Only three patients with referable DR were not identified by imager evaluation. CONCLUSIONS: Point-of-care evaluation of UWF images by nonphysician imagers following standardized acquisition and evaluation protocols within an established teleophthalmology program had good sensitivity and specificity for detection of DR and for identification of referable retinal disease. With immediate image evaluation, <0.1% of patients with referable DR would be missed, reading center image grading burden would be reduced by 60%, and patient feedback would be expedited.
PURPOSE: To examine the relationship between proportion of African ancestry (PAA) and proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) and to identify genetic loci associated with PDR using admixture mapping in African Americans with type 2 diabetes (T2D). METHODS: Between 1993 and 2013, 1440 participants enrolled in four different studies had fundus photographs graded using the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study scale. Cases (n = 305) had PDR while controls (n = 1135) had nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (DR) or no DR. Covariates included diabetes duration, hemoglobin A1C, systolic blood pressure, income, and education. Genotyping was performed on the Affymetrix platform. The association between PAA and PDR was evaluated using logistic regression. Genome-wide admixture scanning was performed using ANCESTRYMAP software. RESULTS: In the univariate analysis, PDR was associated with increased PAA (odds ratio [OR] = 1.36, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.16-1.59, P = 0.0002). In multivariate regression adjusting for traditional DR risk factors, income and education, the association between PAA and PDR was attenuated and no longer significant (OR = 1.21, 95% CI = 0.59-2.47, P = 0.61). For the admixture analyses, the maximum genome-wide score was 1.44 on chromosome 1. CONCLUSIONS: In this largest study of PDR in African Americans with T2D to date, an association between PAA and PDR is not present after adjustment for clinical, demographic, and socioeconomic factors. No genome-wide significant locus (defined as having a locus-genome statistic > 5) was identified with admixture analysis. Further analyses with even larger sample sizes are needed to definitively assess if any admixture signal for DR is present.
IMPORTANCE: Optimization of glycemic control is critical to reduce the number of diabetes mellitus-related complications, but long-term success is challenging. Although vision loss is among the greatest fears of individuals with diabetes, comprehensive personalized diabetes education and risk assessments are not consistently used in ophthalmologic settings. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the point-of-care measurement of hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and personalized diabetes risk assessments performed during retinal ophthalmologic visits improve glycemic control as assessed by HbA1c level. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Ophthalmologist office-based randomized, multicenter clinical trial in which investigators from 42 sites were randomly assigned to provide either a study-prescribed augmented diabetes assessment and education or the usual care. Adults with type 1 or 2 diabetes enrolled into 2 cohorts: those with a more-frequent-than-annual follow-up (502 control participants and 488 intervention participants) and those with an annual follow-up (368 control participants and 388 intervention participants). Enrollment was from April 2011 through January 2013. INTERVENTIONS: Point-of-care measurements of HbA1c, blood pressure, and retinopathy severity; an individualized estimate of the risk of retinopathy progression derived from the findings from ophthalmologic visits; structured comparison and review of past and current clinical findings; and structured education with immediate assessment and feedback regarding participant's understanding. These interventions were performed at enrollment and at routine ophthalmic follow-up visits scheduled at least 12 weeks apart. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Mean change in HbA1c level from baseline to 1-year follow-up. Secondary outcomes included body mass index, blood pressure, and responses to diabetes self-management practices and attitudes surveys. RESULTS: In the cohort with more-frequent-than-annual follow-ups, the mean (SD) change in HbA1c level at 1 year was -0.1% (1.5%) in the control group and -0.3% (1.4%) in the intervention group (adjusted mean difference, -0.09% [95% CI, -0.29% to 0.12%]; P = .35). In the cohort with annual follow-ups, the mean (SD) change in HbA1c level was 0.0% (1.1%) in the control group and -0.1% (1.6%) in the intervention group (mean difference, -0.05% [95% CI, -0.27% to 0.18%]; P = .63). Results were similar for all secondary outcomes. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Long-term optimization of glycemic control is not achieved by a majority of individuals with diabetes. The addition of personalized education and risk assessment during retinal ophthalmologic visits did not result in a reduction in HbA1c level compared with usual care over 1 year. These data suggest that optimizing glycemic control remains a substantive challenge requiring interventional paradigms other than those examined in our study. TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier:NCT01323348.
The first epigenome-wide association study of BMI identified DNA methylation at an HIF3A locus associated with BMI. We tested the hypothesis that DNA methylation variants are associated with BMI according to intake of B vitamins. In two large cohorts, we found significant interactions between the DNA methylation-associated HIF3A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs3826795 and intake of B vitamins on 10-year changes in BMI. The association between rs3826795 and BMI changes consistently increased across the tertiles of total vitamin B2 and B12 intake (all P for interaction <0.01). The differences in the BMI changes per increment of minor allele were -0.10 (SE 0.06), -0.01 (SE 0.06), and 0.12 (SE 0.07) within subgroups defined by increasing tertiles of total vitamin B2 intake and -0.10 (SE 0.06), -0.01 (SE 0.06), and 0.10 (SE 0.07) within subgroups defined by increasing tertiles of total vitamin B12 intake. In two independent cohorts, a DNA methylation variant in HIF3A was associated with BMI changes through interactions with total or supplemental vitamin B2, vitamin B12, and folate. These findings suggest a potential causal relation between DNA methylation and adiposity.
This study characterizes the kallikrein-kinin system in vitreous from individuals with diabetic macular edema (DME) and examines mechanisms contributing to retinal thickening and retinal vascular permeability (RVP). Plasma prekallikrein (PPK) and plasma kallikrein (PKal) were increased twofold and 11.0-fold (both P < 0.0001), respectively, in vitreous from subjects with DME compared with those with a macular hole (MH). While the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) level was also increased in DME vitreous, PKal and VEGF concentrations do not correlate (r = 0.266, P = 0.112). Using mass spectrometry-based proteomics, we identified 167 vitreous proteins, including 30 that were increased in DME (fourfold or more, P < 0.001 vs. MH). The majority of proteins associated with DME displayed a higher correlation with PPK than with VEGF concentrations. DME vitreous containing relatively high levels of PKal and low VEGF induced RVP when injected into the vitreous of diabetic rats, a response blocked by bradykinin receptor antagonism but not by bevacizumab. Bradykinin-induced retinal thickening in mice was not affected by blockade of VEGF receptor 2. Diabetes-induced RVP was decreased by up to 78% (P < 0.001) in Klkb1 (PPK)-deficient mice compared with wild-type controls. B2- and B1 receptor-induced RVP in diabetic mice was blocked by endothelial nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and inducible NOS deficiency, respectively. These findings implicate the PKal pathway as a VEGF-independent mediator of DME.
The paucity of animal models exhibiting full pathology of diabetic retinopathy (DR) has impeded understanding of the pathogenesis of DR and the development of therapeutic interventions. Here we investigated if hyperhexosemic marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) develop characteristic retinal vascular lesions including macular edema (ME), a leading cause of vision loss in DR. Marmosets maintained on 30% galactose (gal)-rich diet for two years were monitored for retinal vascular permeability, development of ME, and morphological characteristics including acellular capillaries (AC) and pericyte loss (PL), vessel tortuosity, and capillary basement membrane (BM) thickness. Excess vascular permeability, increased number of AC and PL, vascular BM thickening, and increased vessel tortuosity were observed in the retinas of gal-fed marmosets. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) images revealed significant thickening of the retinal foveal and the juxtafoveal area, and histological analysis showed incipient microaneurysms in retinas of gal-fed marmosets. Findings from this study indicate that hyperhexosemia can trigger retinal vascular changes similar to those seen in human DR including ME and microaneurysms. The striking similarities between the marmoset retina and the human retina, and the exceptionally small size of the monkey, offer significant advantages to this primate model of DR.
PURPOSE: To report the prevalence and risk factors for retinopathy in African Americans with impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and type 2 diabetes in the Jackson Heart Study and to determine if P-selectin plasma levels are independently associated with retinopathy in this population. DESIGN: Prospective, cross-sectional observational study. METHODS: setting: Community-based epidemiologic study. STUDY POPULATION: Total of 629 patients with type 2 diabetes and 266 participants with impaired fasting glucose. OBSERVATION PROCEDURES: Bilateral, 7-field fundus photographs were scored by masked readers for diabetic retinopathy (DR) level. Covariate data including P-selectin plasma levels and genotypes were collected in a standardized fashion. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Association between risk factors, including P-selectin plasma levels and genotypes, and retinopathy. RESULTS: The prevalences of any retinopathy among participants with IFG and type 2 diabetes were 9.4% and 32.4%, respectively. Among those with type 2 diabetes, in multivariate models adjusted for age, sex, and other traditional risk factors, higher P-selectin levels were associated with any DR (odds ratio = 1.11, 95% confidence interval = 1.02-1.21, P = .02) and proliferative DR (odds ratio = 1.23, 95% confidence interval = 1.03-1.46, P = .02). To further investigate the relationship between P-selectin and DR, we examined the association between P-selectin genotype and DR. Minor allele homozygotes for the variant rs6128 were less likely to develop DR (P after Bonferroni correction = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: Both serologic and genetic data show an association between P-selectin and DR in the Jackson Heart Study. If confirmed in other studies, this association may provide insight into the pathogenesis of retinopathy.
Pericytes, the mural cells that constitute the capillaries along with endothelial cells, have been associated with the pathobiology of diabetic retinopathy; however, therapeutic implications of this association remain largely unexplored. Pericytes appear to be highly susceptible to the metabolic challenges associated with a diabetic environment, and there is substantial evidence that their loss may contribute to microvascular instability leading to the formation of microaneurysms, microhemorrhages, acellular capillaries, and capillary nonperfusion. Since pericytes are strategically located at the interface between the vascular and neural components of the retina, they offer extraordinary opportunities for therapeutic interventions in diabetic retinopathy. Moreover, the availability of novel imaging methodologies now allows for the in vivo visualization of pericytes, enabling a new generation of clinical trials that use pericyte tracking as clinical endpoints. The recognition of multiple signaling mechanisms involved in pericyte development and survival should allow for a renewed interest in pericytes as a therapeutic target for diabetic retinopathy.
There will be an estimated 552 million persons with diabetes globally by the year 2030. Over half of these individuals will develop diabetic retinopathy, representing a nearly insurmountable burden for providing diabetes eye care. Telemedicine programmes have the capability to distribute quality eye care to virtually any location and address the lack of access to ophthalmic services. In most programmes, there is currently a heavy reliance on specially trained retinal image graders, a resource in short supply worldwide. These factors necessitate an image grading automation process to increase the speed of retinal image evaluation while maintaining accuracy and cost effectiveness. Several automatic retinal image analysis systems designed for use in telemedicine have recently become commercially available. Such systems have the potential to substantially improve the manner by which diabetes eye care is delivered by providing automated real-time evaluation to expedite diagnosis and referral if required. Furthermore, integration with electronic medical records may allow a more accurate prognostication for individual patients and may provide predictive modelling of medical risk factors based on broad population data.
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.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the reproducibility of central subfield thickness (CST) and volume measurements from optical coherence tomography (OCT) images obtained with Zeiss Stratus and Optovue RTVue, and formulate equations to convert these measurements from RTVue to 'equivalent' Stratus values. METHODS: Cross-sectional observational study from 309 eyes of 167 participants with diabetes and at least one eye with central-involved diabetic macular edema (DME; Stratus CST ≥ 250 μm) that underwent two replicate Stratus scans followed by two replicate RTVue scans centered on the fovea. RESULTS: The Bland-Altman coefficient of repeatability for relative change in CST (the degree of change that could be expected from measurement variability) was not significantly different on Stratus and RTVue scans (10% and 16%, respectively). The replicate Stratus CST was within 10% of the initial Stratus measurement 93% of the time; the CST conversion equation predicted a Stratus value calculated from the observed RTVue value within 10% of the observed Stratus thickness 91% of the time. Bland-Altman limit of agreement for relative change in CST between measurements observed on different machines was 23%, comparing predicted versus actual Stratus measurement. CONCLUSIONS: RTVue thickness reproducibility appears similar to Stratus. Conversion equations to transform RTVue measurements to Stratus-equivalent values within 10% of the observed Stratus RT are feasible. CST changes greater than 10% when using the same machine or 20% when switching from Stratus to RTVue, after conversion to Stratus equivalents, are likely due to a true change beyond measurement error. TRANSLATIONAL RELEVANCE: Conversion equations to translate central retinal thickness measurements between OCT instruments is critical to clinical trials.