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Xing D. Chen, Amro Omari, Min Hwang, Leon Kwark, Natalie Dakki, Sina Farsiu, Thomas W. Gardner; Treated PDR Reveals Age-Appropriate Vision Deterioration But Distorted Retinal Organization. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2020;9(3):3. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.3.3.
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We determined the progression of visual function, macular structure, and quality of life in patients with regressed proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) after panretinal photocoagulation (PRP).
In this prospective study, 22 patients who underwent PRP for PDR and 11 age-matched control participants underwent examinations at baseline and after 5 years. Visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, reading acuity, frequency doubling perimetry, Humphrey field analyzer, and dark adaptation were measured. The Low Luminance Questionnaire and National Eye Institute Vision Function Questionnaire-25 were administered. Macular spectral-domain optical coherence tomography was taken.
After 5 years, patients who had previously undergone PRP for PDR (18.4 ± 7.9 years previously) showed significant deterioration in contrast sensitivity, reading acuity, frequency doubling perimetry 24-2 pattern standard deviation, and Humphrey field analyzer 10-2 foveal sensitivity, which were equivalent to age-related decreases in control participants. They revealed no further impairment in vision-related activities on questionnaires. In contrast with controls, their maculas showed pathologic disorganization of the retinal layers, especially the nerve fiber layer, which were thicker and constituted a greater proportion of the overall retinal thickness than the norm and associated with impaired vision.
Patients with treated PDR had age-related decreases in vision, but stable quality of life. Prior injuries from the diabetes and, possibly, laser treatment led to substantial disruption in the retinal structure, which may explain the loss of vision.
Despite PRP treatment, patients with regressed PDR had pathologic progression of the nerve fiber layer; further investigation may identify a new therapeutic target to reverse the visual deficits.
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