Prevalence of cystoid macular edema and stability in oct retinal thickness in eyes with retinitis pigmentosa during a 48-week lutein trial

Retina. 2008 Jan;28(1):103-10. doi: 10.1097/IAE.0b013e31809862aa.


Purpose: To describe, in a group of patients with moderately advanced retinitis pigmentosa (RP), the prevalence of cystoid macular edema (CME), the variation in foveal thickness over a 48-week period, the correlation of visual acuity (VA) with retinal thickness, and the lack of response of CME to lutein administration.

Methods: Optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging of the macula and clinical examination were evaluated for 77 eyes of 39 patients with RP over 11 months, with a scan done every 6 weeks.

Results: The prevalence of CME, defined by cysts visible on OCT, was 49%. Bilateral CME was present in 44% of patients (17 of 39), and an additional two patients had unilateral CME. Central retinal thickness varied little over the 48 weeks. Sixty-six percent of the eyes with CME had VA of 20/40 or better. The eyes with CME with VA worse than 20/40 had either greater degrees of thickening or in fact had lower thickness measures. For the eyes without CME, the eyes with VA worse than 20/40 tended to have lower retinal thickness than the eyes with VA of 20/40 or better. VA was highly concordant between eyes, and did not differ significantly between the groups with and without CME. Lutein did not show a statistically significant effect on retinal thickness in the patients with or without CME, nor was such an effect observed in subgroups of patients with vision better or worse than 20/40.

Conclusion: The prevalence rate of CME is higher than in previous reports, perhaps because the patients had some preserved macular vision and because of the use of a definition based on OCT findings. Retinal thickness remains fairly stable over time, both in eyes with CME and in eyes without CME.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lutein / administration & dosage*
  • Macular Edema / diagnosis
  • Macular Edema / drug therapy
  • Macular Edema / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Maryland / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Retina / pathology*
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa / complications*
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa / diagnosis
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence*
  • Visual Acuity


  • Lutein