Diabetes mellitus is a global epidemic that leads to multiple macrovascular and microvascular complications. The complex interrelated pathophysiological mechanisms triggered by hyperglycemia underlie the development of diabetic retinopathy (DR). Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) is a microvascular complication, considered the main cause of irreversible blindness in patients of productive age in the world. On the other hand, diabetic macular edema (DME) remains the clinical feature most closely associated with vision loss. In general, both manifestations are due to an increase in inflammatory factors, such as specific pro-inflammatory prostaglandins, interleukins and angiogenic substances including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Laser photocoagulation and VEGF inhibitors have been shown to be effective in the treatment of PDR and DME. Currently, randomized protocols suggest that VEGF inhibitors therapy could displace laser photocoagulation in the treatment of PDR with and without the presence of DME. The ongoing discussion still prevails about the different treatment modalities for both retinal manifestations in real-world settings.
Part of the book: Diabetic Eye Disease