By David Douglas
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Sep 05 - For grading diabetic retinopathy (DR) and clinically significant macular edema (CSME), the Optomap Panoramic 200 (Optos) imaging device offers advantages over standard methods, German researchers say.
"The major finding of our study is that the Optomap widefield imaging system allows valid assessment of DR and CSME without the need of pupil dilatation and by covering much larger areas of the retina on one scan than the gold standard," Dr. Marcus Kernt told Reuters Health by email.
The gold standard, he said, is "seven-field stereo color fundus imaging according to the Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy Study protocol."
He believes the new system will be "perfect" for DR screening programs.
In an August 23rd online paper in Diabetes Care, Dr. Kernt and colleagues at Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich report on their tests of the Optomap in 212 eyes of 141 patients with different levels of DR.
Mydriatic ETDRS 7-field stereo photography was compared with grading obtained via the Optomap scanning laser ophthalmoscope (SLO).
All SLO scans were performed through an undilated pupil. Two independent, masked, expert graders evaluated all images with no additional clinical information.
In 22 eyes from the ETDRS 7-field photography and 12 from the Optomap, poor quality meant the images weren't evaluable.
Twenty-two eyes were assessed as having no or mild DR by grader 1, and 18 by grader 2; 117 eyes were free of CSME according to grader 1, and 111 were free of CSME according to grader 2. .
Overall there was a highly substantial agreement between both methods and both graders for DR and CSME grading.
The researchers say "Optomap imaging provides at least similar results" to the standard method "and correlates well with clinical assessment of DR."
"It also can be performed easily by trained medical care personnel," they add, and it "provides promising properties for peripheral screening programs and telemedicare in diabetes patients."
The report didn't address the costs of the Optomap system. Articles in Optometric Management and elsewhere note that doctors don't have to buy the equipment outright. Instead, the manufacturer (Optos) will lease the equipment and charge a monthly fee based on the number of scans the doctor's office expects to do each month.
Diabetes Care 2012.
Reuters Health Information © 2012