Aims: To assess the safety and efficacy of phacoemulsification with intravitreal triamcinolone (ivTA) injection in diabetics with cataract and clinically significant macular oedema (CSMO).
Methods: A total of 19 eyes of 15 consecutive diabetic patients with cataract and CSMO were prospectively recruited. Patients underwent phacoemulsification and intraocular lens implantation with 4 mg ivTA injection at completion of surgery. Patients were followed up on day 1, then weekly for 1 month, and thereafter monthly until 6 months postoperatively. Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), central macular thickness (CMT) measured by optical coherence tomography, and adverse events were recorded.
Results: In total, 17 eyes completed 6 months of follow-up. In all, 58.8% showed improvement in BCVA of >or=2 lines, with statistically significant improvement in mean Snellen BCVA of 2.4 lines at 6 months. The peak BCVA was achieved at 4 months. The mean CMT decreased from a baseline of 449 microm to a minimum of 321+/-148 microm (28.5% reduction) achieved at 2 months, with statistically significant reduction at all postoperative time intervals until 6 months. Of 17 eyes, 4 (23.5%) developed transiently elevated intraocular pressure that normalised by 6 months in all but one patient. No injection- or surgery-related complications were encountered.
Conclusions: Phacoemulsification with concurrent 4 mg ivTA injection appears to be a safe option for managing diabetics with cataract and CSMO. However, large-scaled randomised controlled trials are necessary for delineating the relative contributions of cataract removal and CMT reduction to visual improvement. Moreover, the transient effect on CMT may warrant further studies to determine optimal timing and dosage of further ivTA injections.