Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of both insulin-dependent (type I) and non-insulin-dependent (type II) diabetes. The American Diabetes Association and others recommend screening for retinopathy, beginning 5 years after onset of symptoms for patients with type I diabetes and at the time of diagnosis for patients with type II diabetes. Ideally, diabetic patients are evaluated at recommended intervals by an ophthalmologist. Realistically, however, this is often not feasable, for reasons both of cost and availability. There is evidence that many diabetic patients are being referred too late for intervention, perhaps in part due to lax screening and detection, often the responsibility of internists and other primary care physicians. Data supports the need for a cheap, widely available, easy-to-use, effective screening tool for detecting treatable diabetic retinopathy. To this end, several studies have evaluated nonmydriatic fundus photography, and compared it with more-established methods of detecting diabetic retinal disease. The real question to be considered is whether nonmydriatic fundus photography will help to detect early treatable retinopathy better than the average physician using ophthalmoscopy. Several studies support its usefulness in this regard, and are discussed in this review. Questions remain, however, and further study is warranted in evaluating its potential role.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism