April 1997
Volume 38, Issue 5
Free
Articles  |   April 1997
Entoptic evaluation of diabetic retinopathy.
Author Affiliations
  • R A Applegate
    Department of Ophthalmology, University of Texas, Health Science Center at San Antonio 78284-6230, USA.
  • A Bradley
    Department of Ophthalmology, University of Texas, Health Science Center at San Antonio 78284-6230, USA.
  • W A van Heuven
    Department of Ophthalmology, University of Texas, Health Science Center at San Antonio 78284-6230, USA.
  • B L Lee
    Department of Ophthalmology, University of Texas, Health Science Center at San Antonio 78284-6230, USA.
  • C A Garcia
    Department of Ophthalmology, University of Texas, Health Science Center at San Antonio 78284-6230, USA.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 1997, Vol.38, 783-791. doi:
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    • Get Citation

      R A Applegate, A Bradley, W A van Heuven, B L Lee, C A Garcia; Entoptic evaluation of diabetic retinopathy.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1997;38(5):783-791.

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Abstract

PURPOSE: Studies using optimized entoptic viewing of the parafoveal retinal vasculature have shown that normal subjects see their own capillaries with greater detail in the fovea than seen typically in fluorescein angiography. The authors have extended these investigations to persons with diabetes to evaluate the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy with which they can detect and locate their own parafoveal retinal defects untrained. METHODS: A vascular entoptoscope using Maxwellian view optics creates a high-contrast entoptic view of retinal vasculature abnormalities in the parafoveal area. Using a double-masked protocol, 70 patients with diabetes and 29 control subjects described, drew, and quantified their entoptic image. These entoptic records were compared to angiograms and color photographs obtained immediately after the entoptic evaluation. RESULTS: Angiograms or color photographs or both showed that 61 of 70 patients with diabetes had retinal defects (e.g., microaneurysms or exudates or both) within the field of view of the Vascular Entoptoscope (8.1 degrees or 11.6 degrees circular field depending on the Vascular Entoptoscope used: parafoveal area subtends approximately 9.7 degrees). Of these 61 patients with diabetes, 51% (31) observed dark "spots" or "blobs" in the entoptic field corresponding to retinal defects in the angiograms or photographs or both. Seven (18%) of the 38 patients (9 patients with diabetes and 29 control subjects without defects in the entoptic field) said they saw something when angiograms or photographs or both showed nothing (false-positive). Thus, the sensitivity and specificity (using angiograms or photographs or both as the gold standard) with which untrained patients with diabetes detect their own parafoveal area defects are 51% and 82%, respectively. Superimposition of the entoptic image (as drawn by the patient) and the angiograms or color photography or both often showed excellent correspondence. Most (22 of 29) of the control subjects and more than half (40 of 70) the patients with diabetes were able to quantify the size of their foveal avascular zone (FAZ) from the entoptic view, whereas only 22 of 70 of the capillary loops defining the FAZ were visible in the optimal frame of the capillary phase of the fluorescein angiogram. As reported previously in a smaller sample, large FAZs often were associated with poor visual acuity. CONCLUSIONS: More than half the untrained patients with diabetes were able to visualize their own parafoveal retinopathy entoptically, and most untrained patients with diabetes and control subjects where able to quantify the size of their FAZ. Patients and control subjects without parafoveal defects rarely report defects not visible photographically. Patients can be trained to detect their defects. Clinical entoptic monitoring will require verification that patients can detect changes in their retinopathy. Entoptic testing is low cost, noninvasive, and can be performed as often as needed at no risk to the patient. It is, therefore, a promising research technique for subjective monitoring of the early natural history of parafoveal area disease processes.

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