After a decade or longer, approximately one-third of individuals with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes commence a downhill course in which decreasing renal function and failing vision define a Renal-Retinal Syndrome, dominating all aspects of life and presaging early death. Only a generation ago, survival after onset of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in diabetes was limited because rehabilitation was preempted by blindness, limb amputation, stroke, and heart disease. By 1998, however, team management has improved the outlook, with preserved sight and return to work and home responsibilities, usually for a decade or longer, following kidney transplantation and laser photocoagulation. Recognition of the critical requirement for blood pressure regulation and metabolic control are central themes in management. In this unique book, the accomplishments of ophthalmologists, nephrologists, diabetologists, transplant surgeons, and basic scientists are blended into a strategic approach that may be readily applied by all those caring for diabetic patients. Each of twenty-one presentations suitable for primary care physicians, as well as for subspecialists concerned with macrovascular and microvascular complications of diabetes, is placed in perspective by an introductory editorial analysis. Promising near-term innovative therapies, including insertion of genetically engineered beta cells or polymer-coated islets of Langerhans, interdiction of kinins that promote retinal angiogenesis, and prevention of synthesis of advanced glycosylated endproducts (AGEs), are presented in detail. While comprehensive care of diabetic patients reflects multiple incremental advances that in sum afford major benefit, this text envisions further remarkable changes likely to suppress and possibly entirely prevent the Diabetic Renal-Retinal Syndrome.
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