Fluorescein angiographic risk factors for progression of diabetic retinopathy. ETDRS report number 13. Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study Research Group

Ophthalmology. 1991 May;98(5 Suppl):834-40.


In the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS), a multicenter clinical trial sponsored by the National Eye Institute, one eye of each patient was assigned randomly to early photocoagulation and the other to deferral of photocoagulation (i.e., careful follow-up and initiation of photocoagulation only if high-risk proliferative retinopathy developed). This design allowed observation of the natural course of diabetic retinopathy in the initially untreated eye. Gradings of baseline stereoscopic fluorescein angiograms of these eyes were used to examine relationships of angiographic characteristics with each other, with retinopathy severity level and macular edema status graded from color photographs, and with risk of progression from nonproliferative to proliferative retinopathy during 1 to 5 years of follow-up. Fluorescein leakage (particularly diffuse), capillary loss and dilatation, and various arteriolar abnormalities were associated with retinopathy severity and with the likelihood of progression to proliferative retinopathy during follow-up. Severity of fluorescein leakage was strongly associated with macular edema.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / drug therapy
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / etiology*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / surgery
  • Female
  • Fluorescein
  • Fluorescein Angiography*
  • Fluoresceins
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Light Coagulation
  • Macular Edema / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors


  • Fluoresceins
  • Aspirin
  • Fluorescein