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Diabetic Retinopathy and Macular Edema in Clinical Pathology

Correspondence to Author:  Faradh B, 

Barashi eye clinic, Syria.


Diabetic retinopathy and macular lump are complicated diseases. VEGF plays an important role in the pathological process of non-chronic diabetic macular lump, and VEGF blockade agents can improve vision. In chronic diabetic macular lump, inflammatory cytokines are the main driver of lump, and intravitreal steroids can lead to lump resolution. However, vascular part isn’t always the cause of macular thickening and visual loss from non-vascular parts.

Diabetic retinopathy and macular lump is answerable for vision loss in operating cohort thanks to symptom, once approaching patients with diabetic retinopathy, it’s essential to know the underlying pathological mechanisms so as to personalized treatment as diabetic retinopathy and macular lump is complex complicated malady. loads of agents or procedures area unit offered for targeting varied pathological mechanisms, like VEGF, inflammatory, or vitreomacular abnormality, but optimum treatment results may be achieved by exploitation the proper agent or procedure at the proper place.

Macular lump
Macular thickening and cyst formation area unit thanks to fluid accumulation as a {result of|thanks to|attributable to} exaggerated vascular permeableness as a result of inner blood retinal barrier break down once loss of pericytes and thickened basement membrane iatrogenic by symptom, this method is ruled by multiple and complicated factors and mechanisms like vascular , inflammatory and organic chemistry [1].
Macular lump may be iatrogenic by one or multiple factors at identical time, and it’s necessary to know that pathological process mechanism may be modified from one to a different. the simplest thanks to targetpathological factors in clinical follow is to know it mechanism verities, diabetic macular lump may be iatrogenic by vascular and non-vascular (vitreomacular abnormality) parts and generally mixed wherever vascular is in term may be given as anaemia or non-ischemic, wherever the latter may be as chronic or non-chronic course (Figure 1). Vascular part Non-ischemic Non-chronic disease: once diabetic macular lump starts to develop the most mechanism is vascular disfunction, and acute inflammation inflicting drive and so ruled by upregulated vascula r epithelium protein (VEGF) and alternative inflammatory cytokines.

Clinical trials have evaluated the security and effectiveness of intravitreal VEGF-blockade agents for diabetic macular lump treatment and compered it head to go and with alternative treatment modalities like optical device and steroids. the most outcome of those clinical trials is that the following:- VEGF blockade agents area unit safe and effective to use for diabetic macular lump [3] (Figure 2).-VEGF blockade agents area unit superior to optical device treatment alone and to steroids in a very future follow-up [4]. -There isn’t a lot of deference in visual out return once combining intravitreal VEGF blockade agents with optical device treatment in distinction to intravitreal VEGF blockade agents alone [5]. -Patients with central diabetic macular lump that received intravitreal VEGF blockade agents as differed treatment didn’t gain visual edges as those that received VEGF blockade agents at baseline perhaps thanks to permanent purposeful injury or diabetic macular lump has adopted chronic course [6]. -Patients could edges equally to any or all VEGF blockade agents once BCVA is sweet at baseline wherever Aflibercept showed additional efficacies within the first twelve months follow up once BCVA is worse at baseline [7].
This cascade of events may be shot down exploitation intravitreal steroids, commercially intravitreal steroids area unit offered in 3 forms: Aristopak Acetonide, corticoid zero, seven mg perishable implant and FluocinoloneAcetonide Implant zero.19 mg non- perishable implant.
A lot of trails have studied the security and effectiveness of intravitreal steroids and that they ended the subsequent Intravitreal steroids area unit safe and effective for diabetic macular lump treatment [9].-Intravitreal steroids will resolve persistent diabetic macular lump which can not respond well to alternative treatment modalities [10]. Intravitreal steroids induce risk of exaggerated intra ocular pressure and cataract formation [11,12].

Ischemic maculopathy isn’t caused by exaggerated by vascular escape, it’s iatrogenic by microvascular blockage and enlargement, with capillary loss and adjacent lump. Clinically diabetic anaemia maculopathy seems as feature less tissue layer and diagnosed exploitation glow in X-ray photography that seems as enlarged or irregular FAZ (foveal avascular zone) (Figure 4). In cases of considerable ischaemia, visual prognosis is poor and sadly no helpful treatment is on the market.

Chronic disease
because the diabetic macular lump becomes long standing the fluid escape become diffuse and cause photoreceptor loss (Figure 3) inflammation ruled by mediators like MCP-1, TNF-α, IL-1b, IL-6, IL-8, and IP- ten wherever VEFG might not play a major role and so make a case for the poor response to intravitreal VEGF blockade agents in chronic DME. the method of chronic inflammation itself isn’t self-resolving resulting in tissue stress and it any injury with exaggerated sub retinal glia accumulation which is able to cause additional fluid leak iatrogenic by leukostasis and cytotoxic impact (8).

Non-Vascular Element
Not all macular thickening in diabetic patients are originated from vascular elements sometimes non- vascular element can cause macular thickening and visual loss, the most common non vascular element is vitreomacular abnormality which cause macular traction. Macular traction can be presented as anterior posterior traction due to liquefied core vitreous or tangential traction which can feature either epiretinal membrane due to vitreoschisis, or taut vitreous due to glial cell proliferation or contracted lamellae. These vitreomacular abnormalities are governed by several mechanisms such as non-enzymatically cross linking of vitreous collagen along with glial cells and inflammatory cells infiltration and deposition of glial fibrillary acidic protein and cytokeratin.

The best way to diagnose vitreomacular abnormality is by OCT showing focal disturbance of inner retinal layers (Figure 5) however clinically in the absence of vascular element and presence of vitreomacular abnormalities, treatment with VEGF blockade agents, intravitreal steroids and laser may not reduce macular thickening and improve vision, as this abnormality should by be addressed surgically by performing parsplana vitrectomy with ILM peeling in cases of moderate visual loss [13].

Diabetic Retinopathy
The metabolic and retinal microenvironment causes pericytes, endothelium and capillary damage due to agglutinated erythrocyte and th rombus, all that forms hyper cellular sacs in the capillary wall and thus forms micro aneurisms which is the main feature of non- proliferative stage of diabetic retinopathy as this process progress more micro aneurisms forms and retinal tissue reaches state of relative ischemia and thus will trigger VEGF production and interim will induce neovascularization which is the main feature of proliferative stage (Figure 6)which may lead eventually to vitreous hemorrhage or/ and tractinal retinal detachment and blindness.

Non-proliferative stage In non-proliferative stage the most options are:
Microaneurisms shaped from hyper-cellular sacs within the capillary wall and because the illness progress they increase in variety and retinopathy become additional severe (Figure 7).
Cotton-Wool spots: anaemia causes cystic bodies changes within the RNFL and interim can cause swelling RNFL ends with neural deposits and so can kind cotton-wool spots (Figure 8) blood vessel beading, iteration and distortion, might return proliferative stage as anaemia will increase (Figure 9). Intraretinal microvascular abnormalities (IRMA) may be a shunt runs from retinal arteriols to vena bypassing animal tissue, sometimes associated next to retinal anaemia (Figure 10).

Proliferative stage The proliferation features a cycle of 3 phases
The impending phase: VEGF is upregulated once the retinal tissue reaches the state of relative anaemia and so initiates the method of maturation, during this stage level of VEGF concentration is high within the vitreous [14], and this could be noted clinically as areas of hypo insertion on resorcinolphthalein angiograms (Figure 11).
The proliferative phase: Neo-vessels ar developed as method of maturation began, in it’s early stages modern vessel is difficult to examine however because it matures, the diameter enlarges to achieve ¼ of retinal vein diameter [15] during which it drains, modern vessels will grow in numerous patterns (irregular or as network forming carriage wheel), positions (flat, or anchored to the posterior hyaloid) and speed (fast or slow) (Figure12).
Clinically non proliferative diabetic retinopathy is monitored by glycemic management whereas proliferative diabetic retinopathy needs pan retinal surgical process treatment within the absence of diabetic macular oedema whereas within the presence of diabetic macular oedema, VEGF blockade agents are often introduced to handle each macular oedema and proliferation and pan retinal surgical process treatment are often differed to patients UN agency ar exhausting to follow up or treatment failure.
The regression stage: modern vessel seems stripped in its early stages because it starts to regress and cut back it diameter (Figure 13), fibro vascular membrane becomes additional visible forming fibro-vascular tissue which can contract inflicting traction detachment of the retina within the areas of fibro-vascular tissue attachment with posterior hyaline [16]. Vitreous hemorrhage is one in every of the foremost common complications of proliferative stage and it’s induced by contraction of fibro-vascular tissue or spontaneous hurt [17].

Pathology of diabetic macular oedema and retinopathy is complex, understanding the involving factors is vital, to individualize the treatment for each patient by targeting the underlying mechanism, typically the one or additional mechanism is involving and typically the pathology changes the mechanism from one kind to a different. Diabetic macular oedema are often caused by vascular part or non-vascular element; but non- proliferative diabetic retinopathy options primarily microaneurisms thanks to metabolic changes whereas proliferative diabetic retinopathy is caused by upregulated VEGF triggering the method of maturation.


Faradh B. Diabetic Retinopathy and Macular Edema in Clinical Pathology Journal of Ophthalmology and Eye Disorders 2024.

Journal Info

  • Journal Name: Journal of Ophthalmology and Eye Disorders
  • Impact Factor: 1.9
  • ISSN: 2831-3216
  • DOI: 10.52338/Joed
  • Short Name: JOED
  • Acceptance rate: 55%
  • Volume: 6 (2024)
  • Submission to acceptance: 25 days
  • Acceptance to publication: 10 days


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