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Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
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DIABETIC RETINOPATHY UPDATE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 301-308

Systemic medical management of diabetic retinopathy


Department of ophthalmology, National University Health System; National University of Singapore; Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore

Correspondence Address:
Gopal Lingam
Department of ophthalmology, NUHS, Level 7, Tower block, 1e, Kent Ridge road 119228
Singapore
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-9233.120010

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Diabetes mellitus (DM) has assumed epidemic proportions and as a consequence, diabetic retinopathy is expected to be a major societal problem across the world. Diabetic retinopathy (DR) affects the vision by way of proliferative disease that results in vitreous hemorrhage and traction retinal detachment or by way of diabetic maculopathy (DME). The present-day management of diabetic retinopathy revolves around screening the diabetics for evidence of retinopathy and treating the retinopathy with laser photocoagulation. DME is treated with laser photocoagulation and/or intra- vitreal injection of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agents or steroids. Laser remains the mainstay of treatment and is potentially destructive. Systemic management aims at preventing or delaying the onset of retinopathy; reversing the early retinopathy; or delaying the progression of established retinopathy. Evidence from multiple studies has confirmed the protective role of rigid control of blood glucose and blood pressure. The evidence for lipid control versus maculopathy was less definitive. However, the use of fenofibrates (originally used for lowering serum lipids) has shown a benefit on both proliferative disease and maculopathy outside their lipid-lowering effect. Other drugs being tried are the Protein Kinase C (PKC) inhibitors, other peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR) agonists, Forsoklin (which binds GLUT 1 receptor), minocycline (for its anti inflammatory effect), and Celecoxib (Cox-2 inhibitor).


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