Background: To investigate the efficacy of a long-term treatment with Deflazacort (DFZ), a third generation synthetic glucocorticoid, in patients affected by Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) complicated by Cystoid Macular Edema (CME).
Methods: A randomized group of 10 RP subjects were selected for this pilot study and treated with DFZ for one year according to a standard protocol. Far and near Best Corrected Visual Acuity (BCVA), fluorescein angiography (Heidelberg Retina Angiograph) and computerized perimetry (Humphrey Visual Field Analyzer) were statistically assessed.
Results: Near visual acuities, fluorescein angiographic findings and perimetric data improved significantly (p < 0.01) while far BCVA varied only slightly (p < 0.05). No ocular or systemic side effects were recorded.
Conclusions: Further case-control studies, also involving a larger number of patients, are required to confirm these preliminary results. However, the present investigation seem to suggest that DFZ could be effective in reducing fluorescein angiographic findings and improving perimetric data and near visual acuities in RP patients, even though the pathogenesis of CME remains poorly understood.