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Comparative Study
, 33 (8), 620-628

Long-Term Intravitreal Dexamethasone Treatment in Eyes With Pretreated Chronic Diabetic Macular Edema

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Comparative Study

Long-Term Intravitreal Dexamethasone Treatment in Eyes With Pretreated Chronic Diabetic Macular Edema

Souska Zandi et al. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther.

Abstract

Purpose: The aim of this study is to assess the effect of repeated injections of dexamethasone implants in patients with persistent diabetic macular edema (DME) despite prior therapies.

Methods: This retrospective interventional study involved 47 DME-afflicted eyes, which were administered ≥2 intravitreal injections of dexamethasone. Group 1 (34 eyes) received a dexamethasone monotherapy, whereas group 2 (13 eyes) received a combination therapy with intravitreal antivascular endothelial growth factor as needed. The duration of dexamethasone effect until retreatment and the change in best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and central retinal thickness (CRT) were defined as outcome measures.

Results: A total of 197 injections of dexamethasone were administered in group 1 and 52 in group 2 during a mean follow-up of 23 ± 10 and 24 ± 13 months, respectively. Mean time to reinjection was 4.6 ± 0.5 (group 1) and 5.3 ± 1.0 months (group 2; P = 0.17). Reinjection intervals did not shorten over time for up to 10 dexamethasone injections per eye in group 1 and BCVA improved from before 1 month after the first implantation, 7.0 letters (P = 0.04). In group 2, there was no significant improvement in BCVA at any time point. CRT decreased from 534 ± 208 and 529 ± 215 μm to 287 ± 115 and 371 ± 78 μm at 3 months and increased to 460 ± 186 μm and 547 ± 175 μm before reinjection (groups1 and 2, respectively). The maximal CRT before each implantation remained stable over time.

Conclusions: In eyes with chronic DME that respond incompletely to prior therapy or require frequent reinjections, dexamethasone shows promising long-term anatomic and functional improvement. The absence of a treatment effect reduction over time argues against a relevant rebound phenomenon.

Keywords: DME; dexamethasone intravitreal implant; diabetic macular edema; long-term treatment; pretreatment.

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