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Proliferative diabetic retinopathy 05/04/2013

Diabetic retinopathy is the most frequent eye disorder resulting from diabetes and occurs when there are microvascular changes in the retina's blood vessels. This illness is at a more advanced stage in its proliferative form, when a deficient blood supply in the retinal circulation stimulates the growth of new abnormal vessels which tend to break and cause bleeding in the vitreous cavity.

In more advanced stages of the illness, a fibrovascular tissue grows or "proliferates", pulling on the retina and causing retinal traction and detachment, so that surgery is often required.


This affects both central and peripheral vision and causes a loss of visual acuity due to the appearance of macular oedema or vitreous haemorrhage.


Immediate, ongoing treatment is required to avoid the more serious, irreversible consequences of this illness, which can involve blindness. In this case, advances in keyhole surgery on the posterior vitrectomy mean we can also resolve extreme situations.

Depending on the case, surgery or pharmacological treatment may be required or a combination of both, applying the intravitreal injection of drugs, laser photocoagulation, etc.

Can it be prevented? 

It's very important to control the risk factors, the main one being hyperglycaemia. Blood sugar levels must be kept under control as this can delay the onset and progression of proliferative diabetic retinopathy. For this reason, it's very important for diabetic patients to keep to their regular check-ups with the endocrinologist and ophthalmologist.

During this stage, patients' metabolisms should be thoroughly monitored, correcting any hyperlipidaemia and suitably controlling high blood pressure, as well as other aspects.

Related treatments

· Laser photocoagulation

· Intravitreal injections

· Posterior vitrectomy / vitreoretinal keyhole surgery

Related procedures

· Retina scan

· Autofluorescence

· Optical coherence tomography

· Fluorescein angiography

· Ultrasound eye scan


Dr. Jordi Monés, M.D., Ph.D.
COMB Medical license number: 22.838
Doctor of Medicine and Surgery
Specialist in Ophthalmology
Specialist in Retina, Macula and Vitreorretinal

Last modified: 10 January, 2023 - 11:23

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