New guidelines for the management of diabetic retinopathy


The Canadian Ophthalmological Society has published new guidance for the management of diabetic retinopathy.

The guideline provides explicit account of the methods used to identify and evaluate the evidence and arrive at consensus.  Recommendations for clinical practice are set apart from the text that describes the evidence.

The guideline covers:

  • Definitions of disease
  • Epidemiologyof diabetes and diabetic retinopathy in Canada
  • Pathophyiology of diabetic retinopathy
  • Non-retinal diabetic ocular pathologies
  • Screening
  • Telehealth
  • Risk factors for progression and prevention
  • Treatment
  • Pregnancy
  • Neovascularization of the iris

Appraisal hints

  • The guideline states that it was developed in accordance with AGREE principles.
  • The literature search was carried out in 2010, so it is likely that important new evidence has been published since.


The full text of the guidance can be downloaded for free in English from the Canadian Ophthalmological Society’s website:

Hooper P, Boucher MC, Cruess A, Dawson KG, Delpero W, Greve M, Kozousek V, Lam WC, Maberley DA. Canadian Ophthalmological Society evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for the management of diabetic retinopathy. Can J Ophthalmol. 2012 Apr;47(2 Suppl):S1-30, S31-54.

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I am an information scientist with an interest in making knowledge from systematic research more accessible to people who need it. This means you. I've been attempting this in the area of Evidence-Based Health Care since 1995. So far the results have been mixed. For some reason we expected busy clinicians to search databases and appraise papers instead of seeing patients. We also expected publishers to make the research freely available to the people who paid for it.. Ha! Hence The National Elf service.

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