New Research looking at Diabetic Macular Oedema and the Importance of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Therapies in its Treatment

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touchOPHTHALMOLOGY.COM, the peer-reviewed journal, published an article looking at the latest treatment for DMO and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Therapies by Sebastian Wolf.

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In developed countries, DMO is the leading cause of blindness in the working population in individuals aged 20–70 years although it occurs mostly in individuals aged 40–69 years, with similar frequency in males and females.

Diabetic macular oedema (DMO) is a major cause of blindness worldwide and its incidence is increasing due to the greater numbers of people with diabetes. The disease is a result of changes in retinal capillaries that leak and changes in the retinal pigment epithelium causing macular thickening, oedema and poor eyesight, leading to vision loss if left untreated. DMO is particularly serious due to its onset affecting a young/middleaged age group and disabling them during their productive working lives.

Laser photocoagulation treatments have been the mainstay of treatment over the past few decades, but this can be destructive and destroys photoreceptors around the retinal areas affected. Steroids given intravitreally are also used to treat DMO, but these can have undesirable side effects, such as cataracts and increased intraocular pressure (IOP). Early DMO is associated with substantially increased vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secretion, and treatments that block VEGF, particularly ranibizumab, have shown significant improvements vision in patients with DMO compared with laser treatment and shows good long-term safety. This medication is proving to be a valuable option in DMO treatment. This review will outline the pathology and burden of DMO, its associations with both types I and II diabetes and different approaches to treatment.

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Barney Kent
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