Biomarkers of Diabetic Retinopathy.
Diabetic retinopathy (DR), a leading cause of acquired vision loss, is a microvascular complication of diabetes. While traditional risk factors for diabetic retinopathy including longer duration of diabetes, poor blood glucose control, and dyslipidemia are helpful in stratifying patient's risk for developing retinopathy, many patients without these traditional risk factors develop DR; furthermore, there are persons with long diabetes duration who do not develop DR. Thus, identifying biomarkers to predict DR or to determine therapeutic response is important. A biomarker can be defined as a characteristic that is objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biological processes, pathogenic processes, or pharmacologic responses to a therapeutic intervention. Incorporation of biomarkers into risk stratification of persons with diabetes would likely aid in early diagnosis and guide treatment methods for those with DR or with worsening DR. Systemic biomarkers of DR include serum measures including genomic, proteomic, and metabolomics biomarkers. Ocular biomarkers including tears and vitreous and retinal vascular structural changes have also been studied extensively to prognosticate the risk of DR development. The current studies on biomarkers are limited by the need for larger sample sizes, cross-validation in different populations and ethnic groups, and time-efficient and cost-effective analytical techniques. Future research is important to explore novel DR biomarkers that are non-invasive, rapid, economical, and accurate to help reduce the incidence and progression of DR in people with diabetes.
Ting, DSW; Tan, K-A; Phua, V; Tan, GSW; Wong, CW; Wong, TY
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