To compare microaneurysm (MA) counts using ultrawide field colour images (UWF-CI) and ultrawide field fluorescein angiography (UWF-FA).
Retrospective study including patients with type 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus receiving UWF-FA and UWF-CI within 2 weeks. MAs were manually counted in individual Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) and extended UWF zones. Fields with MAs ≥20 determined diabetic retinopathy (DR) severity (0 fields=mild, 1-3=moderate, ≥4=severe). UWF-FA and UWF-CI agreement was determined and UWF-CI DR severity sensitivity analysis adjusting for UWF-FA MA counts performed.
In 193 patients (288 eyes), 2.4% had no DR, 29.9% mild non-proliferative DR (NPDR), 32.6% moderate (NPDR), 22.9% severe NPDR and 12.2% proliferative DR. UWF-FA MA counts were 3.5-fold higher (p<0.001) than UWF-CI counts overall, 3.2x-fold higher in ETDRS fields (p<0.001) and 5.3-fold higher in extended ETDRS fields (p<0.001) and higher in type 1 versus type 2 diabetes (p<0.001). In eyes with NPDR on UWF-CI (n=246), UWF-FA images had 1.6x-3.5x more fields with ≥20 MAs (p<0.001). Fair agreement existed between imaging modalities (k=0.221-0.416). In ETDRS fields, DR severity agreement increased from k=0.346 to 0.600 when dividing UWF-FA counts by a factor of 3, followed by rapid decline in agreement thereafter. Total UWF area agreement increased from k=0.317 to 0.565 with an adjustment factor of either 4 or 5.
UWF-FA detects threefold to fivefold more MAs than UWF-CI and identifies 1.6-3.5-fold more fields affecting DR severity. Differences exist at all DR severity levels, thus limiting direct comparison between the modalities. However, correcting UWF-FA MA counts substantially improves DR severity agreement between the modalities.

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