What are the stages in the progression of diabetic retinopathy?

Updated: Oct 08, 2021
  • Author: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Whether patients develop diabetic retinopathy depends on the duration of their diabetes and on the level of glycemic control. [87, 88, 89] The following are the 5 stages in the progression of diabetic retinopathy:

  1. Dilation of the retinal venules and formation of retinal capillary microaneurysms

  2. Increased vascular permeability

  3. Vascular occlusion and retinal ischemia

  4. Proliferation of new blood vessels on the surface of the retina

  5. Hemorrhage and contraction of the fibrovascular proliferation and the vitreous

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