Complications of intravitreal triamcinolone acetonide for macular edema and predictive factors for intraocular pressure elevation

Int J Ophthalmol. 2012;5(6):719-25. doi: 10.3980/j.issn.2222-3959.2012.06.13. Epub 2012 Dec 18.


Aim: To investigate the complications of intravitreal triamcinolone acetonide (IVTA) for the treatment of macular edema, and to determine the risk factors for intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation.

Methods: Charts of patients with macular edema secondary to branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO), diabetic retinopathy and uveitis who had received IVTA injections were reviewed to document its complications. IOP elevation was defined as a pressure of ≥24mmHg at some point during follow-up. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to characterize baseline risk factors for this elevation.

Results: The study included 111 eyes of 65 female and 46 male patients with a mean follow-up of (11.6±5.1) months. Of the 111 eyes, 52 (46.8%) had macular edema secondary to BRVO, 44 (39.6%) had clinically significant diabetic macular edema (CSDME) and 15 (13.5%) had non-infectious uveitis with macular edema. IOP was recorded ≥ 24mmHg in 38 eyes (34.2%) during the follow-up. Higher baseline IOP (P=0.022), younger age (P=0.003), and male gender (P=0.014) were significant risk factors for IOP elevation after IVTA injection. Eyes with prior vitrectomy were less likely to have IOP elevation (P=0.054). Two eyes (5.2% of eyes with increased IOP) underwent trabeculectomy, and 9 eyes (16.3% of the phakic eyes) necessitated cataract surgery. Other complications included branch vein occlusion (1.8%), sterile endophthalmitis (0.9%) and pseudohypopyon (0.9%).

Conclusion: IVTA has side effects with IOP elevation and cataract formation being the two most common. A subset of patients is more prone to developing increased IOP following IVTA, namely, younger male patients with higher baseline IOP.

Keywords: complications; intraocular pressure; intravitreal triamcinolone; risk factors.