Table 1—

Ophthalmologic examination schedule

Patient groupRecommended first examinationMinimum routine follow-up*
29 years or youngerWithin 3–5 years after diagnosis of diabetes once patient is age 10 years or olderYearly
30 years and olderAt time of diagnosis of diabetesYearly
Pregnancy in pre-existing diabetesPrior to conception and during 1st trimesterPhysician discretion pending results of 1st-trimester exam
  • *

    * Abnormal findings necessitate more frequent follow-up.

  • As indicated in WESDR, these are operational definitions of type 1 and type 2 diabetes based on age (age <30 years at diagnosis, type 1, age ≥30 years at diagnosis, type 2) and not pathogenetic classification. For detailed information, see the “Diabetic retinopathy” technical review (Diabetes Care 21:143–159, 1998).

  • Some evidence suggests that the prepubertal duration of diabetes may be important in the development of microvascular complications; therefore, clinical judgment should be used when applying these recommendations to individual patients.