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      Diagnostic Performance of Retinopathy in the Detection of Diabetic Nephropathy in Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of 45 Studies

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          Aims: To conduct an evidence-based evaluation of diabetic retinopathy (DR) for the diagnosis of diabetic nephropathy (DN) in type 2 diabetics with kidney disease. Methods: We systematically searched PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library from inception to June 27, 2018, including the reference lists of identified primary studies. A study was included if it (1) used DR as a diagnostic test for DN; and (2) used histological evaluation of renal tissues as the reference standard. Results: The analysis included 45 studies (4,561 patients). A bivariate analysis yielded a sensitivity of 0.67 (95% CI 0.61–0.74) and a specificity of 0.78 (95% CI 0.73–0.82). The summary receiver operating characteristic curve analysis provided an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.79 (95% CI 0.76–0.83). In a setting of 41% prevalence of DN, the probability of DN would be 68% if the test of DR was positive, and the probability of DN would be 23% if it was negative. In addition, although the mean specificity of proliferative DR for the detection of DN was 0.99 (95% CI 0.45–1.00), the mean sensitivity was 0.34 (95% CI 0.24–0.44), and the AUC was 0.58 (95% CI 0.53–0.62). Conclusions: DR is helpful in diagnosing DN in persons with type 2 diabetes and kidney disease, but the severity of DR may not parallel the presence of DN.

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          Most cited references 53

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          Pathologic classification of diabetic nephropathy.

          Although pathologic classifications exist for several renal diseases, including IgA nephropathy, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, and lupus nephritis, a uniform classification for diabetic nephropathy is lacking. Our aim, commissioned by the Research Committee of the Renal Pathology Society, was to develop a consensus classification combining type1 and type 2 diabetic nephropathies. Such a classification should discriminate lesions by various degrees of severity that would be easy to use internationally in clinical practice. We divide diabetic nephropathy into four hierarchical glomerular lesions with a separate evaluation for degrees of interstitial and vascular involvement. Biopsies diagnosed as diabetic nephropathy are classified as follows: Class I, glomerular basement membrane thickening: isolated glomerular basement membrane thickening and only mild, nonspecific changes by light microscopy that do not meet the criteria of classes II through IV. Class II, mesangial expansion, mild (IIa) or severe (IIb): glomeruli classified as mild or severe mesangial expansion but without nodular sclerosis (Kimmelstiel-Wilson lesions) or global glomerulosclerosis in more than 50% of glomeruli. Class III, nodular sclerosis (Kimmelstiel-Wilson lesions): at least one glomerulus with nodular increase in mesangial matrix (Kimmelstiel-Wilson) without changes described in class IV. Class IV, advanced diabetic glomerulosclerosis: more than 50% global glomerulosclerosis with other clinical or pathologic evidence that sclerosis is attributable to diabetic nephropathy. A good interobserver reproducibility for the four classes of DN was shown (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.84) in a test of this classification.
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            Prevalence and causes of albuminuria in non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients.

            A prospective study of the prevalence and causes of persistent albuminuria (greater than 300 mg/24 hr) was conducted in non-insulin-dependent diabetic (NIDDM) patients, age less than 66 years, attending a diabetic clinic during 1987. All eligible patients (N = 370) were asked to collect at least one 24-hour urine sample for albumin analysis. Urine collection was obtained in 224 males and 139 females (98%). Fifty patients (7 women) suffered from persistent albuminuria (13.8%). The prevalence of albuminuria was significantly higher in males (19%) than in females (5%). A kidney biopsy was performed in 35 patients (70%). The kidney biopsies revealed diffuse and/or nodular diabetic glomerulosclerosis in 27 patients (77%), while the remaining eight patients (23%) had a variety of non-diabetic glomerulopathies, such as minimal lesion and mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis. Diabetic retinopathy was present in 15 of 27 patients (56%) with diabetic glomerulosclerosis, while none of the eight patients with a non-diabetic glomerulopathy had retinopathy. Our cross sectional study has revealed a high prevalence of albuminuria and of non-diabetic glomerulopathy as a cause of this complication in NIDDM patients. Presence of diabetic retinopathy strongly suggests that a diabetic glomerulopathy is the cause of albuminuria. Albuminuric non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients without retinopathy require further evaluation, that is, kidney biopsy.
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              Patterns of renal injury in NIDDM patients with microalbuminuria.

              Microalbuminuria predicts overt nephropathy in non-insulin-dependent diabetic (NIDDM) patients; however, the structural basis for this functional abnormality is unknown. In this study we evaluated renal structure and function in a cohort of 34 unselected microalbuminuric NIDDM patients (26 male/8 female, age: 58 +/- 7 years, known diabetes duration: 11 +/- 6 years, HbA1c: 8.5 +/- 1.6%). Systemic hypertension was present in all but 3. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was 101 +/- 27 ml.min-1.1.73 m-2 and albumin excretion rate (AER) 44 (20-199) micrograms/ min. Light microscopic slides were categorized as: C I) normal or near normal renal structure; C II) changes "typical" of diabetic nephropathology in insulin-dependent diabetes (IDDM) (glomerular, tubulo-interstitial and arteriolar changes occurring in parallel); C III) "atypical" patterns of injury, with absent or only mild diabetic glomerular changes associated with disproportionately severe renal structural changes including: important tubulo-interstitial with or without arteriolar hyalinosis with or without global glomerular sclerosis. Ten patients (29.4%) were classified as C I, 10 as C II (29.4%) and 14 as C III (41.2%); none of these patients had any definable non-diabetic renal disease. GFR, AER and blood pressure were similar in the three groups, while HbA1c was higher in C II and C III than in C I patients. Diabetic retinopathy was present in all C II patients (background in 50% and proliferative in 50%). None of the patients in C I and C III had proliferative retinopathy, while background retinopathy was observed in 50% of C I and 57% of C III patients. In summary, microalbuminuric NIDDM patients are structurally heterogeneous with less than one third having "typical" diabetic nephropathology. The presence of both "typical" and "atypical" patterns of renal pathology was associated with worse metabolic control, suggesting that hyperglycaemia may cause different patterns of renal injury in older NIDDM compared to younger IDDM patients.

                Author and article information

                Ophthalmic Res
                Ophthalmic Research
                S. Karger AG
                July 2019
                28 June 2019
                : 62
                : 2
                : 68-79
                aDepartment of Nephrology, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing, China
                bPeking Union Medical College and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China
                cPeking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China
                dBeijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China
                Author notes
                *Wenge Li, PhD, MD, Department of Nephrology, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, No. 2 East Yinghuayuan Street, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100029 (China), E-Mail wenge_lee2002@126.com
                500833 Ophthalmic Res 2019;62:68–79
                © 2019 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 7, Tables: 2, Pages: 12
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