Patterns of macular edema in patients with uveitis: qualitative and quantitative assessment using optical coherence tomography

Ophthalmology. 2004 May;111(5):946-53. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2003.08.037.


Purpose: To describe the morphologic characteristics of uveitic macular edema by the use of optical coherence tomography (OCT) and to investigate the correlation between tomographic features and visual acuity (VA).

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Participants: Seventy consecutive patients with uveitis in a university-based practice with a clinical diagnosis of macular edema in at least one eye. Inclusion criteria were: (1) verification of macular edema by OCT, (2) adequate media clarity for fundus visualization, and (3) absence of coexisting ocular disease limiting visual potential.

Methods: Complete ophthalmic examination: best-corrected Snellen VA, slit-lamp examination, fundus biomicroscopy, indirect ophthalmoscopy, and OCT. Fluorescein angiography was performed in selected cases.

Main outcome measures: Best-corrected Snellen VA and tomographic features of the macula, including macular thickness measurement and correlation of macular thickness with VA.

Results: Eighty-four eyes of 60 patients met the inclusion criteria. The mean VA (Snellen test) was 20/36. There were 3 patterns of macular edema: diffuse macular edema (DME), cystoid macular edema (CME), and serous retinal detachment (RD). Serous retinal detachment was detected in 17 eyes (20.2%). Patients were classified into the following groups: DME (46 eyes, 54.8%), CME (21 eyes, 25%), DME and RD (5 eyes, 5.9%), CME and RD (12 eyes, 14.3%). Epiretinal membrane was detected by OCT in 34 eyes (40.5%). Eight eyes (9.5%) demonstrated vitreomacular traction. The mean retinal thickness at the central fovea was 333+/-171 microm (mean +/- standard deviation). Macular edema was located mainly in the outer retinal layers. Eyes with CME had significantly greater retinal thickness measurements than eyes with DME (P<0.001). Multivariate analysis revealed that VA was negatively correlated with increased macular thickness, presence of CME, and RD (P<0.05).

Conclusions: Optical coherence tomography demonstrated 3 patterns of macular edema in patients with uveitis: DME, CME, and RD. Epiretinal membrane coexisted in a significant percentage of patients. In patients with uveitis with clear media, the morphologic features of macular edema and macular thickness correlated with VA.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Humans
  • Macular Edema / complications
  • Macular Edema / diagnosis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods
  • Uveitis / complications
  • Uveitis / diagnosis*
  • Visual Acuity