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Efficacy and reliability of fundus digital camera as a screening tool for diabetic retinopathy in Kuwait

Objective: Many screening and follow-up methods are available for detecting diabetic retinopathy (DR). However, once patients develop retinopathy, it is unclear as to what method should be used for their review. This study is designed to assess the correlation between fundus digital image and clinical examination and to develop a screening program for the early detection of sight-threatening DR using a Canon CF 60 UV fundus camera. Methods: Patients who were not treated for DR earlier were enrolled in the study. All patients underwent digital fundus photography. The photographs were evaluated and compared with the clinical findings as recorded by retinal specialists. DR and macular edema were analyzed separately, and the correlation was statistically measured. The kappa statistic was used to estimate the extent of the agreement between the two procedures. Results: A total of 92 eyes of 51 patients were eligible to be entered in the study. Comparison of the digital image of the fundus and the examination by an ophthalmologist showed a good correlation. The kappa score for retinopathy was estimated to be 93% with 95.6% concordance. The kappa score for diabetic maculopathy was 88% with concordance of 92.2%. Conclusion: We conclude that digital images provide an efficient method for diagnosing and classifying sight-threatening DR, particularly proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). However, agreement between the digital fundus camera and clinical examination by an ophthalmologist for diabetic maculopathy detection, though substantial statistically, was not very satisfactory. It was also felt that the digital photographs can be used as a tool for teleophthalmology and can be integrated as a screening system in Kuwait. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Diabetes and its Complications Elsevier
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