Diabetic Eye Disease

Penman A, Hoadley S, Wilson JG, Taylor HA, Chen CJ, Sobrin L. P-selectin Plasma Levels and Genetic Variant Associated With Diabetic Retinopathy in African Americans. Am J Ophthalmol 2015;159(6):1152-1160.e2.Abstract

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.

Arboleda-Velasquez JF, Valdez CN, Marko CK, D'Amore PA. From pathobiology to the targeting of pericytes for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. Curr Diab Rep 2015;15(2):573.Abstract

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.

Sim DA, Keane PA, Tufail A, Egan CA, Aiello LP, Silva PS. Automated retinal image analysis for diabetic retinopathy in telemedicine. Curr Diab Rep 2015;15(3):14.Abstract

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.

Silva PS, Cavallerano JD, Haddad NMN, Kwak H, Dyer KH, Omar AF, Shikari H, Aiello LM, Sun JK, Aiello LP. Peripheral Lesions Identified on Ultrawide Field Imaging Predict Increased Risk of Diabetic Retinopathy Progression over 4Years. Ophthalmology 2015;122(5):949-56.Abstract

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.

Bressler SB, Edwards AR, Andreoli CM, Edwards PA, Glassman AR, Jaffe GJ, Melia M, Sun JK, for the Committee DRCRN/W. Reproducibility of Optovue RTVue Optical Coherence Tomography Retinal Thickness Measurements and Conversion to Equivalent Zeiss Stratus Metrics in Diabetic Macular Edema. Transl Vis Sci Technol 2015;4(1):5.Abstract

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.

Sun JK, Radwan SH, Soliman AZ, Lammer J, Lin MM, Prager SG, Silva PS, Aiello LB, Aiello LP. Neural Retinal Disorganization as a Robust Marker of Visual Acuity in Current and Resolved Diabetic Macular Edema. Diabetes 2015;64(7):2560-70.Abstract

Despite treatment advances, diabetic eye disease remains a leading cause of visual acuity (VA) loss worldwide. No methods to prospectively determine which patients will gain or lose vision exist, limiting individualized risk assessment and management. We investigated whether noninvasive, readily obtainable spectral domain optical coherence tomography parameters were correlated with VA in eyes with current or resolved center-involved diabetic macular edema (DME). Images were evaluated for disorganization of the retinal inner layers (DRIL), cysts, epiretinal membranes, microaneurysms, subretinal fluid, and outer layer disruption/reflectivity. DRIL affecting ≥50% of the 1-mm central retinal zone was associated with worse VA in all eyes, eyes with current edema, and eyes with resolved edema. Furthermore, early 4-month change in DRIL extent predicted VA change from baseline to 1 year. These data suggest that DRIL is a robust predictor of VA in eyes with present or previous DME and more highly correlated with VA than other widely used measures, such as retinal thickness. If further studies confirm DRIL as a predictive biomarker of future VA, physicians would gain a new tool of substantial clinical and investigative importance that could significantly change the approach to ophthalmic counseling and therapeutic management in patients with diabetes.

Lim LS, Ling LH, Cheung CMG, Ong PG, Gong L, Tai SE, Mathur R, Wong D, Foulds W, Wong TY. Relationship of systemic endothelial function and peripheral arterial stiffness with diabetic retinopathy. Br J Ophthalmol 2015;99(6):837-41.Abstract

BACKGROUND: To investigate possible associations between diabetic retinopathy (DR) and systemic vascular endothelial function and arterial stiffness measured using reactive hyperaemia peripheral arterial tonometry. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional observational clinical study. Subjects with diabetes were recruited and DR was graded from retinal photographs. Systemic endothelial function was measured using reactive hyperaemia peripheral arterial tonometry (EndoPAT) and expressed as the reactive hyperaemia index (RHI). Peripheral arterial stiffness was measured using the same device and expressed as the augmentation index (AI). RESULTS: In total, 164 eyes of 95 Chinese patients were evaluated. The mean age of the subject eyes was 60.1±8.2 years and 76.8% were men. The mean duration of diabetes was 15.5±9.8 years, and the mean HbA1c was 8.1±1.4%. In age-gender-adjusted models, increasing severity of DR was associated with increasing mean RHI (p=0.001) and increasing mean AI (p<0.001). In multivariate models, adjusting additionally for smoking, mean duration of diabetes, HbA1c and hypertension, the associations with RHI and AI persisted (p=0.011 and 0.001, respectively). In analyses of the dichotomous outcomes clinically significant macular oedema (CSME), moderate DR and vision-threatening DR, AI was a significant predictor of CSME and vision-threatening DR. In multivariate-adjusted models, for every SD increase in AI, the odds of having CSME was 1.78 times higher (95% CI 1.05 to 2.99; p=0.029). For every SD increase in AI, the odds of having vision-threatening DR was 1.73 times higher (95% CI 1.17 to 2.56; p=0.003). CONCLUSIONS: Subjects with more severe DR have larger peripheral reactive hyperaemic responses and greater peripheral vascular stiffness. These findings support the link between the microvascular changes of diabetes and macrovascular disease.

Sun D, Nakao S, Xie F, Zandi S, Bagheri A, Kanavi MR, Samiei S, Soheili Z-S, Frimmel S, Zhang Z, Ablonczy Z, Ahmadieh H, Hafezi-Moghadam A. Molecular imaging reveals elevated VEGFR-2 expression in retinal capillaries in diabetes: a novel biomarker for early diagnosis. FASEB J 2014;28(9):3942-51.Abstract
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a microvascular complication of diabetes and a leading cause of vision loss. Biomarkers and methods for early diagnosis of DR are urgently needed. Using a new molecular imaging approach, we show up to 94% higher accumulation of custom designed imaging probes against vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR-2) in retinal and choroidal vessels of diabetic animals (P<0.01), compared to normal controls. More than 80% of the VEGFR-2 in the diabetic retina was in the capillaries, compared to 47% in normal controls (P<0.01). Angiography in rabbit retinas revealed microvascular capillaries to be the location for VEGF-A-induced leakage, as expressed by significantly higher rate of fluorophore spreading with VEGF-A injection when compared to vehicle control (26±2 vs. 3±1 μm/s, P<0.05). Immunohistochemistry showed VEGFR-2 expression in capillaries of diabetic animals but not in normal controls. Macular vessels from diabetic patients (n=7) showed significantly more VEGFR-2 compared to nondiabetic controls (n=5) or peripheral retinal regions of the same retinas (P<0.01 in both cases). Here we introduce a new approach for early diagnosis of DR and VEGFR-2 as a molecular marker. VEGFR-2 could become a key diagnostic target, one that might help to prevent retinal vascular leakage and proliferation in diabetic patients.
Santiago JG, Walia S, Sun JK, Cavallerano JD, Haddad ZA, Aiello LP, Silva PS. Influence of diabetes and diabetes type on anatomic and visual outcomes following central rein vein occlusion. Eye (Lond) 2014;28(3):259-68.Abstract
PURPOSE: To determine the influence of diabetes and diabetes type on ocular outcomes following central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO). METHODS: Retrospective chart review of all patients evaluated over a 4-year period in a tertiary diabetes eye care center. Ophthalmic findings were recorded including visual acuity and the presence of retinal neovascularization at presentation, after 3-6 months, and at last follow-up. RESULTS: The records of 19,648 patients (13,571 diabetic; 6077 nondiabetic) were reviewed. The prevalence of CRVO in diabetic patients (N=72) and nondiabetic patients (N=27) were 0.5 and 0.4%, respectively. Disc neovascularization (21.3 vs 0.0%, P=0.05) and panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) (48.7 vs 21.4%, P=0.01) were more common in diabetic patients compared with nondiabetic patients. Compared with type 2 diabetic patients, retinal neovascularization (28.6 vs 3.7%, P=0.004) and subsequent PRP (78.6 vs 41.9%, P=0.01) were more likely in type 1 patients. Optic nerve head collateral vessels (CVs) were observed less than half as often (21.4 vs 56.5%, P=0.04) in patients with type 1 diabetes. Presence of optic nerve head CVs at baseline was associated with less likelihood of PRP (14.3 vs 46.1%, P=0.03). CONCLUSIONS: In this cohort, the rates of CRVO in diabetic and nondiabetic patients were similar to previously published population-based studies. Following CRVO, diabetic patients had higher rates of disc neovascularization and were more likely to require subsequent PRP than nondiabetic patients. As compared with CRVO patients with type 2 diabetes, patients with type 1 diabetes and CRVO had worse anatomic outcomes with substantially increased risks of retinal neovascularization and PRP; however, final visual acuity outcomes were similar.
Srinivasan PP, Kim LA, Mettu PS, Cousins SW, Comer GM, Izatt JA, Farsiu S. Fully automated detection of diabetic macular edema and dry age-related macular degeneration from optical coherence tomography images. Biomed Opt Express 2014;5(10):3568-77.Abstract

We present a novel fully automated algorithm for the detection of retinal diseases via optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging. Our algorithm utilizes multiscale histograms of oriented gradient descriptors as feature vectors of a support vector machine based classifier. The spectral domain OCT data sets used for cross-validation consisted of volumetric scans acquired from 45 subjects: 15 normal subjects, 15 patients with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and 15 patients with diabetic macular edema (DME). Our classifier correctly identified 100% of cases with AMD, 100% cases with DME, and 86.67% cases of normal subjects. This algorithm is a potentially impactful tool for the remote diagnosis of ophthalmic diseases.

Sun JK, Lin MM, Lammer J, Prager S, Sarangi R, Silva PS, Aiello LP. Disorganization of the retinal inner layers as a predictor of visual acuity in eyes with center-involved diabetic macular edema. JAMA Ophthalmol 2014;132(11):1309-16.Abstract

IMPORTANCE: Biomarkers that predict future visual acuity (VA) in eyes with baseline diabetic macular edema (DME) would substantively improve risk assessment, management decisions, and selection of eyes for clinical studies targeting DME. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether baseline or early change in the novel spectral domain-optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) parameter disorganization of the retinal inner layers (DRIL) is predictive of VA in eyes with center-involved DME. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: At a tertiary care referral center for diabetic eye disease, a retrospective, longitudinal cohort study obtained demographics, VA, and SD-OCT images from baseline, 4-month, and 8-month visits in 96 participants (120 eyes) with diabetes mellitus and baseline center-involved DME (SD-OCT central subfield thickness, ≥ 320 µm for men and ≥ 305 µm for women). Exclusion criteria included substantial media opacity, cataract surgery within 6 months, and nondiabetic retinal pathology affecting VA. On SD-OCT, the 1-mm-wide retinal area centered on the fovea was evaluated by masked graders for DRIL extent, cysts, hyperreflective foci, microaneurysms, cone outer segment tip visibility, and external limiting membrane or photoreceptor disruption and reflectivity. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Visual acuity and SD-OCT-derived retinal morphology. RESULTS: Greater DRIL extent at baseline correlated with worse baseline VA (point estimate, 0.04; 95% CI, 0.02-0.05 per 100 µm; P < .001). An increase in DRIL during 4 months was associated with VA worsening at 8 months (point estimate, 0.03; 95% CI, 0.02-0.05 per 100 µm; P < .001). A multivariate model that included a 4-month change in VA, DRIL, and external limiting membrane disruption was predictive of an 8-month VA change (r = 0.80). Each approximately 300-µm DRIL increase during 4 months predicted a 1-line, 8-month VA decline. When DRIL increased at least 250 µm at 4 months, no eyes had VA improvement of at least 1 line at 8 months. When DRIL decreased at least 250 µm at 4 months, no eyes had VA decline of at least 1 line at 8 months, and 77.7% had VA improvement of at least 1 line. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Disorganization of the retinal inner layers in the 1-mm foveal area is associated with VA, and change in DRIL predicts future change in VA. Early change in DRIL prospectively identifies eyes with a high likelihood of subsequent VA improvement or decline. Therefore, DRIL warrants further study as a robust, readily obtained, and noninvasive biomarker of future VA response in eyes with DME.

Ip MS, Domalpally A, Sun JK, Ehrlich JS. Long-term Effects of Therapy with Ranibizumab on Diabetic Retinopathy Severity and Baseline Risk Factors for Worsening Retinopathy. Ophthalmology 2014;Abstract

PURPOSE: To assess the effects of intravitreal ranibizumab on diabetic retinopathy (DR) severity when administered for up to 3 years, evaluate the effect of delayed initiation of ranibizumab therapy on DR severity, and identify baseline patient characteristics associated with the development of proliferative DR (PDR). DESIGN: Exploratory analyses of phase III, randomized, double-masked, sham-controlled multicenter clinical trials. PARTICIPANTS: Adults with diabetic macular edema (DME) (N = 759), baseline best-corrected visual acuity 20/40 to 20/320 Snellen equivalent, and central foveal thickness ≥275 μm. METHODS: Patients were randomized to monthly 0.3 or 0.5 mg ranibizumab or sham injections. Sham participants could switch to 0.5 mg ranibizumab during the third year (sham/0.5 mg crossover). Baseline risk factors were evaluated to explore potential associations with development of PDR. Time to first development of PDR was analyzed by Kaplan-Meier methods to calculate cumulative probabilities by group. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Study eye change on the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study severity scale and a composite clinical outcome evaluating progression to PDR based on photographic changes plus clinically important events defining PDR. RESULTS: At month 36, a greater proportion of ranibizumab-treated eyes had ≥2- or ≥3-step DR improvement compared with sham/0.5 mg crossover. A ≥3-step improvement was achieved at 36 months by 3.3%, 15.0%, and 13.2% of sham/0.5 mg, 0.3 mg, and 0.5 mg ranibizumab-treated eyes, respectively (P < 0.0001). Through 36 months, 39.1% of eyes in the sham/0.5 mg group developed PDR, as measured by composite outcome, compared with 18.3% and 17.1% of eyes treated with 0.3 or 0.5 mg ranibizumab, respectively. The presence of macular capillary nonperfusion at baseline seems to be associated with progression to PDR in ranibizumab-treated eyes but did not meaningfully influence visual acuity improvement in eyes with DME after ranibizumab therapy. CONCLUSIONS: Ranibizumab, as administered to patients with DME for 12 to 36 months in these studies, can both improve DR severity and prevent worsening. Prolonged delays in initiation of ranibizumab therapy may limit this therapeutic effect. Although uncommon, the development of PDR still occurs in a small percentage of eyes undergoing anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy and may be related to the presence of macular nonperfusion.

Hernandez SL, Gong JH, Chen L, Wu I-H, Sun JK, Keenan HA, King GL. Characterization of circulating and endothelial progenitor cells in patients with extreme-duration type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2014;37(8):2193-201.Abstract

OBJECTIVE: We characterized and correlated endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and circulating progenitor cells (CPCs) with lack of vascular complications in the Joslin Medalist Study in patients with type 1 diabetes for 50 years or longer. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: EPC and CPC levels were ascertained by flow cytometry and compared among Medalists (n = 172) with or without diabetic retinopathy (DR; n = 84 of 162), neuropathy (n = 94 of 165), diabetic nephropathy (DN; n = 18 of 172), cardiovascular disease (CVD; n = 63 of 168), age-matched controls (n = 83), type 2 diabetic patients (n = 36), and younger type 1 diabetic patients (n = 31). Mitogens, inflammatory cytokines, and oxidative markers were measured in blood or urine. Migration of cultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from Medalists and age-matched controls were compared. RESULTS: Medalists' EPC and CPC levels equaled those of their nondiabetic age-matched controls, were 10% higher than those in younger type 1 diabetic patients, and were 20% higher than those in age-matched type 2 diabetic patients. CPC levels were 15% higher in Medalists without CVD and nephropathy than in those affected, whereas EPC levels were significantly higher in those without peripheral vascular disease (PVD) than those with PVD. Stromal-derived factor 1 (SDF-1) levels were higher in Medalists with CVD, DN, and DR than in those not affected and their controls. IGF-I levels were lower in Medalists and correlated inversely with CPC levels. Additionally, cultured PBMCs from Medalists migrated more than those from nondiabetic controls. CONCLUSIONS: Normal levels of EPC and CPC in the Medalists, unlike other groups with diabetes, especially those without CVD, support the idea that endogenous factors exist to neutralize the adverse effects of metabolic abnormalities of diabetes on vascular tissues.