PURPOSE: To demonstrate the reperfusion of nonperfused capillary beds in diabetic retinopathy. METHODS: In a retrospective study, we reviewed 292 fluorescein angiograms of 94 eyes of 74 patients (mean age, 52 years; range, 20 to 68 years) with diabetic retinopathy. Fluorescein angiography was performed repeatedly (mean, three times; range, two to eight times) during a mean follow-up period of 2 years (range, 3 months to 12 years). None of the 94 eyes received laser photocoagulation. RESULTS: Reperfusion of occluded capillary beds was observed in 65 (69%) of 94 eyes. Reperfusion was characterized by recanalization in 22 (34%) of the 65 eyes or by intraretinal neovascularization in 54 (83%) of the 65 eyes. The former took place in small nonperfused areas and the latter in larger nonperfused areas. Reperfusion occurred throughout the entire fundus in six of 94 eyes, resulting in resolution of diabetic retinopathy. Reperfused capillary beds with intraretinal neovascularization left vascular remodeling, which was seen as twisted or kinked abnormal vessels. CONCLUSIONS: In diabetic retinopathy, occluded capillary beds may be reperfused. Twisted abnormal vessels may represent the reperfusion process through intraretinal neovascularization.
American Journal of Ophthalmology – Elsevier
Published: Dec 1, 1998
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