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Retinopathy question

Discussion in 'Diabetic Retinopathy' started by storm, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. storm

    storm Type 2 · Member

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    Hi, I have been Type 2 diabetic for 5 or so years and have done really well controlling it (or so I am told), with HB1 below 5%

    Last year I was told I had some background retinopathy, I was a bit upset about that, but anyway put it to the back of mind.

    This years results said my "tests reports appeared normal"

    So my questions are

    (a) Did they goof last year or this year
    (b) Can it sort of mend itself
  2. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
    Retired Moderator

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    (a) Who can say.

    (b) Well there's been many members before you who have said they were diagnosed with background retinopathy only to be told a year or two later that it's disappeared, undoubtedly your tight bg control would have helped matters.

    Anyway well done and you must be so pleased :)
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  3. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse · Well-Known Member

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    A single haemorrhage or microaneurysm would be classified as background retinopathy. Haemorrhages tend to resolve within a few weeks so won't be visible a year later. If no new retinopathy changes occur, the retina will appear "normal" at the next screening. Microaneurysms are small swellings on the capillaries in the retina. As retinopathy progresses, after about 3 years or so, the capillary shuts down and the microaneurysm is no longer visible. Again, if no new retinopathy has occurred, the retina will appear "normal" at the next screening. When someone is diagnosed with Type 2, they may already have retinopathy from years of undiagnosed diabetes. After diagnosis, an improvement in diabetic control can reduces the rate at which new retinopathy changes form.

    Other possibilities, include:-
    • data entry error (the grader ticks the wrong box)
    • "looked but did not see" error (pathology is present but the grader doesn't spot it)
    • differences in interpretation of the same feature (a pigment spot can look like a retinopathy change if the camera flash is bright)
    Although the Diabetic Eye Screening Programmes in the UK have quality assurance measures (all results where retinopathy is reported will have been seen by at least 2 graders and, in addition, every grader will have a proportion of their "normal" results sampled and re-graded to make sure they are not habitually under-grading) the main aim of the screening service is to detect "sight-threatening" retinopathy rather than background retinopathy.
  4. GrantGam

    GrantGam Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    My very first screening reported evidence of diabetic related damage in one eye.

    The two I've had since have reported absolutely no abnormalities. My A1c is around 6% so whether this has helped improve the damage, or the initial screening was misinterpreted is anyone's guess...

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