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      The Effects of Diabetic Retinopathy and Pan-Retinal Photocoagulation on Photoreceptor Cell Function as Assessed by Dark Adaptometry

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          The pathophysiology of vision loss in persons with diabetic retinopathy (DR) is complex and incompletely defined. We hypothesized that retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and rod and cone photoreceptor dysfunction, as measured by dark adaptometry, would increase with severity of DR, and that pan-retinal photocoagulation (PRP) would exacerbate this dysfunction.


          Dark adaptation (DA) was measured in subjects with diabetes mellitus and healthy controls. Dark adaptation was measured at 5° superior to the fovea following a flash bleach, and the data were analyzed to yield cone and rod sensitivity curves. Retinal layer thicknesses were quantified using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT).


          The sample consisted of 23 controls and 73 diabetic subjects. Subjects with moderate nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) exhibited significant impairment of rod recovery rate compared with control subjects ( P = 0.04). Cone sensitivity was impaired in subjects with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) (type 1 diabetes mellitus [T1DM]: P = 0.0047; type 2 diabetes mellitus [T2DM]: P < 0.001). Subjects with untreated PDR compared with subjects treated with PRP exhibited similar rod recovery rates and cone sensitivities. Thinner RPE as assessed by OCT was associated with slower rod recovery and lower cone sensitivity, and thinner photoreceptor inner segment/outer segment layer was associated with lower cone sensitivity.


          The results suggest that RPE and photoreceptor cell dysfunction, as assessed by cone sensitivity level and rod- and RPE-mediated dark adaptation, progresses with worsening DR, and rod recovery dysfunction occurs earlier than cone dysfunction. Function was preserved following PRP. The findings suggest multiple defects in retinoid function and provide potential points to improve visual function in persons with PDR.

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          Global Prevalence and Major Risk Factors of Diabetic Retinopathy

          OBJECTIVE To examine the global prevalence and major risk factors for diabetic retinopathy (DR) and vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy (VTDR) among people with diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS A pooled analysis using individual participant data from population-based studies around the world was performed. A systematic literature review was conducted to identify all population-based studies in general populations or individuals with diabetes who had ascertained DR from retinal photographs. Studies provided data for DR end points, including any DR, proliferative DR, diabetic macular edema, and VTDR, and also major systemic risk factors. Pooled prevalence estimates were directly age-standardized to the 2010 World Diabetes Population aged 20–79 years. RESULTS A total of 35 studies (1980–2008) provided data from 22,896 individuals with diabetes. The overall prevalence was 34.6% (95% CI 34.5–34.8) for any DR, 6.96% (6.87–7.04) for proliferative DR, 6.81% (6.74–6.89) for diabetic macular edema, and 10.2% (10.1–10.3) for VTDR. All DR prevalence end points increased with diabetes duration, hemoglobin A1c, and blood pressure levels and were higher in people with type 1 compared with type 2 diabetes. CONCLUSIONS There are approximately 93 million people with DR, 17 million with proliferative DR, 21 million with diabetic macular edema, and 28 million with VTDR worldwide. Longer diabetes duration and poorer glycemic and blood pressure control are strongly associated with DR. These data highlight the substantial worldwide public health burden of DR and the importance of modifiable risk factors in its occurrence. This study is limited by data pooled from studies at different time points, with different methodologies and population characteristics.
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            Proposed international clinical diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema disease severity scales.

            To develop consensus regarding clinical disease severity classification systems for diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema that can be used around the world, and to improve communication and coordination of care among physicians who care for patients with diabetes. Report regarding the development of clinical diabetic retinopathy disease severity scales. A group of 31 individuals from 16 countries, representing comprehensive ophthalmology, retina subspecialties, endocrinology, and epidemiology. An initial clinical classification system, based on the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study and the Wisconsin Epidemiologic Study of Diabetic Retinopathy publications, was circulated to the group in advance of a workshop. Each member reviewed this using e-mail, and a modified Delphi system was used to stratify responses. At a later workshop, separate systems for diabetic retinopathy and macular edema were developed. These were then reevaluated by group members, and the modified Delphi system was again used to measure degrees of agreement. Consensus regarding specific classification systems was achieved. A five-stage disease severity classification for diabetic retinopathy includes three stages of low risk, a fourth stage of severe nonproliferative retinopathy, and a fifth stage of proliferative retinopathy. Diabetic macular edema is classified as apparently present or apparently absent. If training and equipment allow the screener to make a valid decision, macular edema is further categorized as a function of its distance from the central macula. There seems to be a genuine need for consistent international clinical classification systems for diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema that are supported with solid evidence. The proposed clinical classification systems provide a means of appropriately categorizing diabetic retinopathy and macular edema. It is hoped that these systems will be valuable in improving both screening of individuals with diabetes and communication and discussion among individuals caring for these patients.
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              Human photoreceptor topography.

              We have measured the spatial density of cones and rods in eight whole-mounted human retinas, obtained from seven individuals between 27 and 44 years of age, and constructed maps of photoreceptor density and between-individual variability. The average human retina contains 4.6 million cones (4.08-5.29 million). Peak foveal cone density averages 199,000 cones/mm2 and is highly variable between individuals (100,000-324,000 cones/mm2). The point of highest density may be found in an area as large as 0.032 deg2. Cone density falls steeply with increasing eccentricity and is an order of magnitude lower 1 mm away from the foveal center. Superimposed on this gradient is a streak of high cone density along the horizontal meridian. At equivalent eccentricities, cone density is 40-45% higher in nasal compared to temporal retina and slightly higher in midperipheral inferior compared to superior retina. Cone density also increases slightly in far nasal retina. The average human retina contains 92 million rods (77.9-107.3 million). In the fovea, the average horizontal diameter of the rod-free zone is 0.350 mm (1.25 degrees). Foveal rod density increases most rapidly superiorly and least rapidly nasally. The highest rod densities are located along an elliptical ring at the eccentricity of the optic disk and extending into nasal retina with the point of highest density typically in superior retina (5/6 eyes). Rod densities decrease by 15-25% where the ring crosses the horizontal meridian. Rod density declines slowly from the rod ring to the far periphery and is highest in nasal and superior retina. Individual variability in photoreceptor density differs with retinal region and is similar for both cones and rods. Variability is highest near the fovea, reaches a minimum in the midperiphery, and then increases with eccentricity to the ora serrata. The total number of foveal cones is similar for eyes with widely varying peak cone density, consistent with the idea that the variability reflects differences in the lateral migration of photoreceptors during development. Two fellow eyes had cone and rod numbers within 8% and similar but not identical photoreceptor topography.

                Author and article information

                Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci
                Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci
                Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science
                The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
                22 January 2016
                January 2016
                : 57
                : 1
                : 208-217
                [1 ]Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences W. K. Kellogg Eye Center, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
                [2 ]Department of Ophthalmology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, United States
                [3 ]Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, United States
                [4 ]MacuLogix, Inc., Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, United States
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Gregory R. Jackson, MacuLogix, Inc., 1214 Research Boulevard, Hummelstown, PA 17036, USA; gjackson@ .
                Thomas W. Gardner, Kellogg Eye Center, 1000 Wall Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA; tomwgard@ .
                iovs-57-01-05 IOVS-15-17281

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.



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