In adults, there has been a decline in the incidence of diabetic retinopathy associated with improvements in diabetes management. Data on incident severe diabetic retinopathy in adolescents are sparse. In our established diabetes complications assessment service, we recorded nine cases of sight-threatening retinopathy in youth aged 15-17.9 years from 2017-2021. Proliferative retinopathy and clinically significant macular oedema were identified. The subjects were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes before the age of 10 years and had a history of poor glycaemic control (HbA1c 86-130mmol/mol, 10-15%). Five cases of retinopathy developed rapidly within 2.5 years of a previously normal retinal examination on seven-field stereoscopic retinal photography. Three adolescents required laser photocoagulation therapy. Two adolescents were diagnosed with retinopathy following improvement in diabetes control after being lost to medical follow-up and their retinopathy improved with improved glycaemic control. Thus, we support repeated retinal screening in adolescents with diabetes duration >10 years with suboptimal glycaemic control, even when initial retinal examination is normal, as retinopathy can progress rapidly during adolescence. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.