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Diabetes Mellitus: Early Proliferative Retinopathy

Early proliferative retinopathy

The blood vessels on the surface of the optic disc and nearby retina form a tangle instead of an orderly branching.

Arising under chronic retinal ischemia, these new blood vessels are weak-walled and bleed easily into the retina or vitreous cavity. If the patient is not treated, they will grow out into the vitreous cavity as a fibrovascular scaffold, detach the retina, and blind the patient.

Fortunately, pan-retinal laser photocoagulation (scatter laser photocoagulation) can often make these abnormal vessels disappear.

What to do?
Refer all newly diagnosed diabetics for ophthalmologic examination at the time of diagnosis. The schedule of periodic examinations thereafter should be set by the ophthalmologist.

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