Diabetic macular oedema.
Diabetic macular oedema, characterised by exudative fluid accumulation in the macula, is the most common form of sight-threatening retinopathy in people with diabetes. It affects one in 15 people with diabetes resulting in more than 20 million cases worldwide. Few epidemiological studies have been done to specifically investigate risk factors for diabetic macular oedema, although poor glycaemic and blood pressure control are associated with the presence and development of the disorder. The pathophysiological processes begin with chronic hyperglycaemia, and interplay between vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and inflammatory mediators. Non-invasive imaging using optical coherence tomography has allowed clinicians to detect mild levels of diabetic macular oedema in order to monitor progress and guide treatment. Although focal or grid laser photocoagulation was the traditional mode of treatment, intraocular pharmacotherapy with anti-VEGF agents is now the standard of care. However, these therapies are expensive and resource intensive. Emerging therapeutic strategies include improving efficacy and duration of VEGF suppression, targeting alternative pathways such as inflammation, the kallikrein-kinin system, the angiopoietin-Tie2 system, and neurodegeneration, and using subthreshold and targeted laser therapy. Ongoing research should lead to improvements in screening, diagnosis, and management of diabetic macular oedema.
Tan, GS; Cheung, N; Simó, R; Cheung, GCM; Wong, TY
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