Fast Five Quiz: Diabetic Macular Edema

Andrew A. Dahl, MD


October 20, 2020

Figure 2. Microvascular damage in diabetes: diabetic retinopathy and diabetic nephropathy.

Proteinuria is a good marker for the development of diabetic retinopathy, hence DME. Patients with diabetic nephropathy lose proteins owing to microvascular damage in the kidneys. Because microvascular damage in the kidneys often parallels similar changes in the retina, diabetic patients with proteinuria should be observed more closely for diabetic retinopathy.

Elevated blood pressure increases the risk for diabetic retinopathy. Patients with diabetes and hypertension may develop diabetic retinopathy with superimposed hypertensive retinopathy.

Elevated triglyceride and lipid levels increase the risk for retinopathy. Normalizing lipid levels may reduce leakage from retinal vessels and deposition of exudate within the retina.

Learn more about proteinuria in DME.


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