Importance: Moderate to substantial agreement between Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) 7-field imaging and ultrawide-field (UWF) imaging has been suggested in single-center studies. Comparing images obtained by multiple centers could increase confidence that UWF images can be used reliably in place of ETDRS imaging in future clinical trials. Objective: To compare diabetic retinopathy (DR) severity from modified ETDRS 7-field imaging and UWF imaging. Design, Setting, and Participants: This preplanned, cross-sectional analysis included modified ETDRS 7-field images obtained using the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network acquisition protocol and UWF images obtained captured with the Optos 200Tx system (Optos, PLC) from adult participants (≥18 years old) with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Both image types were evaluated by trained graders masked to clinical data. Data collection occurred from February 2015 to December 2015, and data analysis from June 2016 to December 2017. Main Outcomes and Measures: Agreement between UWF images, UWF images masked to include only the ETDRS 7-field area, and ETDRS 7-field images were calculated using κ statistics. Results: A total of 764 eyes from 385 participants were included; participants had a median (IQR) age of 62.2 (53.6-69.2) years, 194 (50.4%) were women, and 256 (66.5%) were white. Of 742 eyes with both ETDRS 7-field images and UWF masked images graded, 359 (48.4% [95% CI, 44.4%-52.4%]) eyes had exact agreement, and 653 eyes (88.0% [95% CI, 85.2%-90.3%]) agreed within 1 step (weighted κ, 0.51 [95% CI, 0.44-0.58]). After open adjudication by an independent senior grader of all images with more than a 2-step discrepancy, perfect agreement was found in 435 eyes (59.0% [95% CI, 55.1%-62.8%]) and agreement within 1 step in 714 eyes (96.9% [95% CI, 95.1%-98.0%]; κ, 0.77 [95% CI, 0.73-0.82]). Ability of the imaging modalities to detect retinopathy severity in an individual eye was considered similar in 59 eyes (50.9% [95% CI, 41.3%-60.4%]), better for ETDRS 7-field imaging in 22 eyes (19.0% [95% CI, 12.5%-27.7%]), and better for UWF-masked images in 31 eyes (26.7% [95% CI 18.8%-36.5%]). Comparing UWF masked and unmasked images, 94 of 751 eyes (12.5%) had DR graded as at least 1 step more severe on UWF unmasked images vs UWF masked images. Predominantly peripheral DR lesions were present in 308 of 751 eyes (41.0%); this suggested increased DR severity by 2 or more steps in 34 eyes (11.0%). Conclusions and Relevance: Imaging by the ETDRS 7-field and UWF imaging systems have moderate to substantial agreement when determining the severity of DR within the 7 standard fields. Disparities in an individual eye are equivalently distributed between imaging modalities and can be better or worse on 1 or the other. Longitudinal follow-up will evaluate the primary outcome of this study to determine if peripheral retinal findings are associated with future retinopathy outcomes.
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