Peripheral retinal vessel whitening linked to poor vision in diabetes patients

A new study has found an association between vessel whitening and the severity of diabetic retinopathy in patients with diabetes

blood sugar test
Pixabay/Tesa Robbins

Scientists have highlighted that peripheral retinal vessel whitening could be used as a prognostic indicator of vision in patients with diabetic retinopathy.

Writing in Scientific Reports, researchers highlighted that their study of 260 patients with diabetes found an association between peripheral retinal vessel whitening and reduced vision.  

The proportion of whitening increased as the severity of diabetic retinopathy increased.

Within the study group, the proportion of whitening increased from 4% in patients with no diabetic retinopathy, to 33% in patients with severe non-proliferative and proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

The authors highlighted that the development of ultrawide field imaging (UWF) makes reviewing the retinal periphery more accessible.

“UWF imaging may assist in managing patients with diabetes as the clinical presentation of retinal vessel whitening appears to be associated with increasing DR severity as well as being a marker of poorer visual function,” the authors observed.