Rosiglitazone may delay progression of severe diabetic retinopathy

May 2, 2006

Rosiglitazone, an oral medication for diabetes with antiangiogenicproperties, may delay ocular neovascularization in patients withsevere diabetic retinopathy at baseline, according to results of alongitudinal chart review study, said Lucy Q. Shen, MD, HarvardMedical School, Boston.

Rosiglitazone, an oral medication for diabetes with antiangiogenic properties, may delay ocular neovascularization in patients with severe diabetic retinopathy at baseline, according to results of a longitudinal chart review study, said Lucy Q. Shen, MD, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Investigators followed 124 rosiglitazone patients who were taking the drug in May 2003, when the study began, and 158 control patients who were not taking the medication. Mean follow-up was 2.8 years.

"Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) developed in fewer rosiglitazone patients and at a slower rate compared with the controls. This difference is statistically significant," Dr. Shen said. "In contrast, no significant difference was observed in patients with mild or moderate PDR at baseline with rosiglitazone treatment."

In patients with severe nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy, 14.3% of eyes in the medication group and 45.8% in the control group progressed to PDR. Progression was reduced in the patients with severe disease by 58%.