Purpose: To determine the value of optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging in the diagnosis and monitoring of cystoid macular edema (CME) in patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP).
Design: Prospective, noncomparative, small case series.
Participants: Three patients with RP and cystic-appearing spaces in the macula on OCT images.
Intervention: All 3 patients were treated with a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, and 1 also received topical and systemic steroids.
Main outcome measures: Changes in OCT images, fluorescein angiography, and best-corrected visual acuity (VA).
Results: Although foveal cysticlike spaces were evident on OCT images in all 3 patients, only 1 patient showed CME on fluorescein angiography at baseline. Two of the 3 patients showed funduscopic evidence of macular cystic lesions, whereas a third showed no clinically evident fundus changes in the macula. Optical coherence tomography images documented improvement in the cystic-appearing spaces after treatment with the carbonic anhydrase inhibitor. Changes on fluorescein angiography were either not apparent or considerably less apparent. An improvement of > or =1 line on a Snellen acuity chart was recorded in 2 patients, whereas a third showed no change of VA in either eye.
Conclusions: Optical coherence tomography is a potential method for the diagnosis and monitoring of CME in patients with RP. It was more sensitive in this regard than either fluorescein angiography or funduscopic examination.