Diabetic Retinopathy Guidelines

  • 16 Dec 2012
  • RCOphth

Since the previous edition of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists Diabetic Retinopathy Guidelines, population based digital image photographic DR screening programmes have become established throughout the United Kingdom. A number of clinical studies have expanded the understanding of the condition and management of DR. Similarly technological advances in retinal imaging especially the high definition OCT scans, wide field retinal angiography and new laser technology using multispot and micropulse abilities have widened clinical knowledge and treatment options. Medical interventions – systemic as well as ocular have revolutionised the way diabetic patients are managed in the eye clinics. The new guidelines reflect on all these changes and aim to provide up to date guidance for busy clinicians. These guidelines will be kept up to date with on line updates of major developments in the field.
The aim of the guidelines is to provide evidence-based, clinical guidance for the best management of different aspects of diabetic eye disease. The foundations of the guidelines are based on evidence taken form the literature and published trials of therapies as well as consensus opinion of a representative expert panel convened by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists with an interest in this condition. The scope of the guidelines is limited to management of diabetic retinopathy with special focus on sight threatening retinopathy. It offers guidance regarding service set up to facilitate delivery of optimal clinical care for patients with retinopathy. The guidelines are prepared primarily for ophthalmologists, however they are relevant to other healthcare professionals, service providers and commissioning organisations as well as patient groups. The guidelines do not cover rare, complex, complicated or unusual cases. It is recommended that readers refer to other relevant sources of information such as summaries of product characteristics (SPCs) for pharmaceutical products as well as NICE and GMC guidance.
The new guidelines incorporate established and applicable information and guidance from the previous version with revision while some chapters are extensively revised and some new chapters are added. As stated in the previous version, the guidelines are advisory and are not intended as a set of rigid rules, since individual patients require tailored treatment for their particular condition. However, it is hoped that if used appropriately, the guidelines will lead to a uniformly high standard of management of patients with diabetic retinopathy.