Diagnostic accuracy of teleretinal screening for detection of diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration: a systematic review and meta-analysis Academic Article uri icon

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  • ObjectiveTo evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of teleretinal screening compared with face-to-face examination for detection of diabetic retinopathy (DR) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).Methods and analysisThis study adhered to the Preferred Reporting Items for a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Diagnostic Test Accuracy Studies (PRISMA-DTA). A comprehensive search of OVID MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane CENTRAL was performed from January 2010 to July 2021. QUADAS-2 tool was used to assess methodological quality and applicability of the studies. A bivariate random effects model was used to perform the meta-analysis. Referrable DR was defined as any disease severity equal to or worse than moderate non-proliferative DR or diabetic macular oedema (DMO).Results28 articles were included. Teleretinal screening achieved a sensitivity of 0.91 (95% CI: 0.82 to 0.96) and specificity of 0.88 (0.74 to 0.95) for any DR (13 studies, n=7207, Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) low). Accuracy for referrable DR (10 studies, n=6373, GRADE moderate) was lower with a sensitivity of 0.88 (0.81 to 0.93) and specificity of 0.86 (0.79 to 0.90). After exclusion of ungradable images, the specificity for referrable DR increased to 0.95 (0.90 to 0.98), while the sensitivity remained nearly unchanged at 0.85 (0.76 to 0.91). Teleretinal screening achieved a sensitivity of 0.71 (0.49 to 0.86) and specificity of 0.88 (0.85 to 0.90) for detection of AMD (three studies, n=697, GRADE low).ConclusionTeleretinal screening is highly accurate for detecting any DR and DR warranting referral. Data for AMD screening is promising but warrants further investigation.PROSPERO registration numberCRD42020191994.


  • Mehraban Far, Parsa
  • Tai, Felicia
  • Ogunbameru, Adeteju
  • Pechlivanoglou, Petros
  • Sander, Beate
  • Wong, David
  • Brent, Michael H
  • Felfeli, Tina

publication date

  • February 2022