|DR lesions tend to be distributed more peripherally in East Asian eyes compared with other ethnicities. Photo: Julie Torbit, OD. Click image to enlarge.|
Ethnic differences in the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy (DR) have been reported, but differences in the DR phenotype are not well described. In a recent retrospective study, researchers evaluated the distribution of DR lesions among various ethnicities and presented their results at the ARVO 2022 meeting in Denver. They found that DR lesions tend to be distributed more peripherally in East Asian eyes compared with other ethnicities, particularly South Asian eyes.
A cohort of 228 eyes with DR consisting of 49 East Asian eyes, 103 South Asian eyes, 30 Caucasian eyes and 46 Latino eyes were enrolled with ultra-widefield images; both treatment-naïve and treated cases were included. Images were manually annotated for DR lesions including microaneurysms, hemorrhages, intraretinal microvascular abnormalities, cotton wool spots, neovascularization and venous beading. Eyes were classified as having predominantly peripheral or central lesions, and the percentage of eyes rated to be predominantly peripheral was compared among the groups.
The proportion of eyes featuring a predominantly peripheral lesion distribution was highest in East Asians (85.7%) and lowest in South Asians (35.9%) regardless of prior treatment or DR severity. Among treatment-naïve eyes, 84.8% of East Asian eyes, 35.7% of South Asian eyes, 57.1% of Caucasian eyes and 46.2% of Latino eyes were classified as having predominantly peripheral lesions.
For moderate nonproliferative DR, treatment-naïve eyes, a predominantly peripheral lesion distribution was observed in 84.8% of East Asian eyes, 34.9% of South Asian eyes, 38.5% of Caucasian eyes and 44.4% of Latino eyes. This greater distribution among East Asian eyes was significantly different from South Asian, Caucasian and Latino eyes.
Original abstract content © Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology 2022.
He Y, Nittala M, Verma A, et al. Ethnic differences in the distribution of diabetic lesions. ARVO 2022 annual meeting.