The retinopathy in diabetic patients is caused by diabetic microangiopathy and it results in blindness. A proliferative and a nonproliferative form can be distinguished.
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause for blindness in industrialized countries. About 10% of patients with insulin dependent diabetes type 2 develop retinopathy.
The determination of risk of complications is useful at the beginning of a disease process when strategy of diagnotic and therapy has to be scheduled.
It was demonstrated that the better is diabetes control the lower the risk of diabetic retinopathy. As progression of the disease can be reduced by proper treatment, the patients with diabetes require regular ophthalmological visits. A drug emerged (ranibizumab) suitable for treatment of macula oedema a variant of diabetic retinopathy.[Error: Macro 'ref' doesn't exist]
There is no explanation for the great difference in suceptibility to diabetic retinopathy. But there are still ongoing invertigations correlating retinopathy to genetic polymorphisms.
Kao YL et al. (1998) A variant of paraoxonase (PON1) gene is associated with diabetic retinopathy in IDDM.[^]
Awata T et al. (2002) A common polymorphism in the 5'-untranslated region of the VEGF gene is associated with diabetic retinopathy in type 2 diabetes.[^]
Nguyen QD et al. (2006) Vascular endothelial growth factor is a critical stimulus for diabetic macular edema.[^]