Objective: To describe the response of uveitic macular edema to various treatment methods using optical coherence tomography (OCT).
Methods: This is a prospective study of consecutive uveitis patients with macular edema in at least one eye. The patients received medical treatment. Best corrected Snellen Visual Acuity (BCVA) and tomographic features of the macula, including macular thickness measurement, were obtained at one, three, six, and 12 months after commencing treatment.
Results: Eighty-one eyes of 58 patients were analyzed. Complete resolution of macular edema occurred in 38 eyes (47%). The average BCVA was 20/34 logarithm of minimum angle of resolution (-logMAR, 0.2 +/- 0.3) upon study entry and 20/27 (-logMAR, 0.13 +/- 0.29) upon study completion. The difference was statistically significant (p = 0.04). The corresponding mean retinal thickness at the central fovea was 319 +/- 150 microm at the beginning of the study compared to 241 +/- 125 microm at 12 months (p < 0.001). A weak but statistically significant correlation between the reduction of macular thickness and the improvement of BCVA (r = 0.3, p = 0.01) was found. Thirteen of the 43 eyes (30%) with persistent macular edema had a more than 15% reduction of macular thickness compared to baseline, whereas 10 eyes (23, 3%) had a more than 15% increase in macular thickness. Statistical analysis indicated that the presence of an epiretinal membrane and an OCT pattern of diffuse macular edema was a significant factor associated with medical treatment failure.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates the overall favorable visual prognosis of uveitic macular edema under medical treatment. The presence of an epiretinal membrane is an important factor associated with medical treatment failure.