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The Genotype-Phenotype Correlation of the key features of Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

Pearce, Elizabeth; (2021) The Genotype-Phenotype Correlation of the key features of Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) is a leading cause of visual impairment but its pathophysiology is not well understood. Moderate/severe non-proliferative DR (NPDR) is characterised by the presence of three features: deep haemorrhages (DH), venous beading (VB) and intraretinal microvascular abnormalities (IRMA). They are grouped together as risk factors for progression to sight threatening DR. It remains unclear whether these individual features have similar pathophysiologies, and whether they respond equally to anti-VEGF, a new therapy for NPDR. Optomap images of 504 NPDR eyes were examined to evaluate the distribution and prevalence of these three features. DNA samples from 199 patients with NPDR and 397 diabetic patients with no DR were collected. The genotype of specific candidate genes were evaluated in patients with DR, VB or IRMA vs no DR. Optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) images of 30 patients were examined for focal ischemia adjacent to VB and IRMA. The responses of these three features to anti-VEGF treatment were also re-examined in the images from the CLARITY trial. DH were present in most cases of NPDR. VB and IRMA did not always co-exist in the same eye and when they do, were often in different locations. VEGF, TGFb-1 and ARHGAP22 polymorphisms (ischaemia-related genes) were more common in patients with DR and IRMA, but not VB. Areas of focal ischaemia were more frequently adjacent to IRMA than to VB. DH and IRMA responded to anti-VEGF therapy but VB did not. These findings suggest that VB and IRMA do not share the same pathophysiology, and that IRMA are more likely to be ischaemic driven. Nonetheless, some IRMA may not be driven by ischaemia as they have no adjacent ischaemia on OCTA, do not carry the specific genotype, and do not respond to anti-VEGF. Furthermore, patients with VB may not benefit from anti-VEGF therapy.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The Genotype-Phenotype Correlation of the key features of Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10129643
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