Researchers recently found that a two-year, three-year and four-year screening interval was considered safe for type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and low-risk patients with type 2 diabetes, respectively, without diabetic retinopathy (DR) at the first examination.

This observational, prospective, multicenter study evaluated 25,745 participants with type 1 or type 2 diabetes in France. A team calculated the incidence of referable DR in patients without retinopathy at baseline and defined a safe screening interval as a 95% probability of remaining without referable DR.

The investigators reported a 10-year cumulative incidence of referable DR of 19.10% and 17.03% for types 1 and 2 diabetes, respectively, with a median follow-up of 3.33 years. They observed safe screening intervals for patients without DR at the first examination for types 1 and 2 diabetes of 2.2 and 3.0 years, respectively, and 4.2 years for low-risk patients with type 2 diabetes.

“While these data might be used to support the consideration of extending screening intervals, a randomized clinical trial would be suitable to confirm the safety for patients with DM,” the study authors concluded in their paper.

Chamard C, Daien V, Erginay A, et al. Ten-year incidence and assessment of safe screening intervals for diabetic retinopathy: the OPHDIAT study. Br J Ophthalmol. June 10, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].