Screening for diabetic retinopathy: a comparative trial of photography and scanning laser ophthalmoscopy

Ophthalmologica. 2010;224(4):251-7. doi: 10.1159/000284351. Epub 2010 Feb 10.


Aims: To evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of wide-field scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (WSLO) in the detection of referable diabetic eye disease, and to compare its performance with digital retinal photography.

Methods: Patients enrolled into the study underwent non-mydriatic WSLO imaging, then single- and dual-field mydriatic digital retinal photography, and examination with slit lamp biomicroscopy, the reference standard. Grading of retinopathy was performed in a masked fashion.

Results: A total of 380 patients (759 eyes) were recruited to the study. Technical failure rates for dilated single-field retinal photography, dual-field retinal photography and undilated WSLO were 6.3, 5.8 and 10.8%, respectively (0.005 < p < 0.02 for photography vs. WSLO). The respective indices for screening sensitivity were 82.9, 82.9 and 83.6% (p > 0.2). Specificity was 92.1, 91.1 and 89.5%, respectively (p > 0.2).

Conclusions: Sensitivity and specificity for WSLO were similar to retinal photography. The technical failure rate was greater for the WSLO used in this study.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmoscopy / methods*
  • Photography / methods*
  • Radiography
  • Retina / diagnostic imaging
  • Retina / pathology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Young Adult