Purpose: To evaluate the safety, feasibility, and preliminary efficacy of suprachoroidal drug delivery with a microcatheter for the treatment of severe subfoveal hard exudates (SHE) in retinal vasculopathies. Definitive treatments for SHE have not yet been identified and prognosis is unfavorable.
Methods: In this prospective, interventional pilot study, six eyes of six patients with central or branch retinal vein occlusion or diffuse diabetic macular edema accompanied by massive refractory SHE underwent a single treatment with bevacizumab and triamcinolone administered to the submacular suprachoroidal space via a microcatheter introduced at the pars plana and advanced posteriorly. The main outcome measures included best-corrected visual acuity, vascular leakage, macular thickness, extent of SHE, and complications.
Results: Mean follow-up was 12 months. Three eyes had central retinal vein occlusion, one had branch retinal vein occlusion, and two had chronic diabetic macular edema. Best-corrected visual acuity improved by ≥2 lines in 4 eyes and remained stable in 2 eyes. At 1 month to 2 months postprocedure, SHE was almost completely resolved in all eyes and macular edema was significantly reduced. There were no surgical or postoperative complications.
Conclusion: Suprachoroidal infusion of drugs can be effective in reabsorbing massive SHE.