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08-22-2017 | Retinopathy | Editorial | Article

Antivascular endothelial growth factor treatment for proliferative diabetic retinopathy: Perspective on the CLARITY study

Nathaniel B. Rieveschl, Felipe F. Conti, Rishi P. Singh
Diabetic retinopathy is a frequently encountered complication in the diabetic population. About 40% of patients with diabetes over 40 years of age are estimated to have some degree of retinopathy [1]. Roughly half of all eyes with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) will have significant vision loss if left untreated [2]. PDR is caused by retinal ischemia and the resultant production of angiogenic factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) is the current standard of care treatment for PDR. PDR works by destroying the local ischemic photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium and, by that, it decreases the release of angiogenic factors thereby reducing stimuli for neovascularization. PRP reduces the risk of substantial vision loss from PDR by 50% or more, with the benefit being most significant in eyes with high-risk PDR [3]. However, PRP can damage the retina, leading to several visual side effects.

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