Purpose: To evaluate the additive effect of triamcinolone to bevacizumab in comparison to standard macular laser photocoagulation versus bevacizumab in the management of diabetic macular edema (DME).
Methods: In a prospective, randomized clinical trial, 130 eyes of 110 patients with type 2 diabetes with DME were included. Eligible eyes were randomly assigned to 1.25 mg intravitreal bevacizumab (42 eyes) (IVB group) or combination of 1.25 mg bevacizumab and 2 mg triamcinolone acetonide (41 eyes) (IVB+IVT group) or macular laser photocoagulation (47 eyes) (MPC). Central macular thickness (CMT) and visual acuity changes at week 6 and 16 were assessed.
Results: The mean age of the patients was 57 -/+7 years. Patients were followed 16 weeks. At week 6, all the three groups showed significant reduction in CMT but the reductions for IVB and IVB+IVT were significantly more than MPC (p<0.001). At week 16, the response was not stable for IVB (p<0.001), but IVB+IVT maintained its superior status to MPC (p<0.001). At week 16, visual acuities were essentially unchanged for the two groups of MPC and IVB and improvement for IVB+IVT was marginal and at most was 0.1 log MAR. No patient developed uveitis, endophthalmitis, or thromboembolic event.
Conclusions: Single intravitreal bevacizumab or triamcinolone plus bevacizumab injection brought about significantly greater macular thickness reduction in diabetic patients in comparison to standard laser treatment. However, the response for bevacizumab alone was short-lived. Reduction in macular thickness was only marginally associated with visual acuity improvement in the triamcinolone plus bevacizumab injection group.