Incidence of Referable Retinal Disease in Diabetic Patients at a Primary Care Practice

Journal Article

Purpose: This work tests the feasibility of remote ophthalmic imaging to identify referable retinal abnormalities and assesses the effectiveness of color fundus photography (CFP) vs optical coherence tomography (OCT) for this purpose. Methods: This prospective, nonrandomized study included 633 patients with diabetes at Duke Primary Care. Undilated patients underwent screening with CFP and OCT camera (MaestroCare, Topcon). Images were graded independently for interpretability and the presence of predetermined retinal disease. Retinal disease was classified as diabetic retinopathy (DR) referable to a retina specialist or incidental findings referable to either a retina specialist or a general ophthalmologist, depending on severity. Results: Mean (SD) age of screened patients was 66 (13) years, and 49% were women. The average glycated hemoglobin A1c level was 7.6 % (SD, 1.7%), and 30% of the patients were on insulin. The average duration of diabetes was 5.9 (SD, 7.3) years. Remote images from OCT were significantly more interpretable than CFP (98% vs 83%, respectively; P < .001). Referral rates were 9% for DR and 28% for incidental findings. Among patients with DR, OCT and CFP were helpful in 58% and 87% of cases, respectively ( P < .001). Conclusions: Remote diagnosis of ophthalmic imaging at the point of service may allow for early identification of retinal disease and timely referral and treatment. Our approach showed that OCT had significantly better interpretability, while CFP was more helpful in identifying DR. These findings may be important when choosing the screening device in a specific context.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lee, T; Amason, J; Del Risco, A; Kim, J-B; Cousins, SW; Hadziahmetovic, M

Published Date

  • March 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 6 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 138 - 146

Published By

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2474-1272

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2474-1264

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/24741264211044223


  • en