This paper reports on 9 patients aged 13-18 years (mean 15.4) with severe diabetic retinopathy. Two patients were prepubertal and 4 were going through puberty. Hypertension was present in 2 patients, while 4 had proteinuria. Severe preproliferative disease was present in 3 patients initially and proliferative retinopathy in the remainder. In 5 this retinopathy was considered to be florid. Two patients seen prior to 1975 had pituitary ablation, while those seen after 1975 were treated by extensive argon and xenon arc photocoagulation. Proliferative lesions regressed in both groups. At the latest follow-up 7 of the 9 patients achieved a final visual acuity of 6/9 or better in at least one eye. One patient became blind. Proliferative retinopathy advances rapidly in adolescents, but photocoagulation, as used now, can maintain vision in most.
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