Acuity and colour vision changes post intravitreal dexamethasone implant injection in patients with diabetic macular oedema

PLoS One. 2018 Jun 26;13(6):e0199693. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0199693. eCollection 2018.


Purpose: To evaluate changes in colour vision following intravitreal injection of Dexamethasone implant (Ozurdex) in patients with diabetic macular oedema (DMO). Both red-green (RG) and yellow-blue (YB) chromatic sensitivity were assessed using the Colour Assessment & Diagnosis (CAD) test which isolates the use of colour signals and provides age-corrected, statistical limits for normal trichromats. To determine whether colour changes and visual acuity (VA) post-treatment relate to central sub-field retinal thickness (CST).

Methods: Fourteen patients with DMO who were undergoing treatment with Ozurdex were recruited for this study. RG and YB colour thresholds were measured using the CAD test, best corrected visual acuity was assessed using the ETDRS chart and CST was measured using spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT). All tests were performed monocularly at baseline and 24 weeks post injection.

Results: All patients (n = 14 eyes), had significant loss of RG and YB chromatic sensitivity at baseline (p<0.05). The mean age was 56 ± 9.5 years. The age specific, monocular, upper normal limits for a 56 year old subject are 2.66 for RG and 2.85 for YB. In this study, the measured, pre injection thresholds (mean±SD) were 22.6 ± 11.3 for RG and 16.2 ± 3.76 for YB. There was significant improvement in RG threshold post injection (i.e., 19.2 ± 10.8 (p<0.05)). No significant changes were found in the YB thresholds with corresponding mean and range values of: 15.8 ± 4.6 (p = 0.23). CST pre-treatment was 542 ±135 μm. After treatment and by week 24 the CST values decreased to 435 ±127 μm.

Conclusions: RG colour thresholds provide a sensitive measure of functional change in diabetic subjects with macular oedema. The YB system is damaged severely in the DMO patients studied and shows little or no recovery post treatment. The improvement in VA and particularly in RG colour vision correlate well with the measured decrease in CST. The results suggest that the improvement in the RG chromatic sensitivity can provide a useful biomarker for monitoring the efficacy of treatment in DMO.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Color Vision / drug effects*
  • Dexamethasone / administration & dosage*
  • Diabetes Complications* / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Complications* / physiopathology
  • Drug Implants
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intravitreal Injections
  • Macular Edema* / drug therapy
  • Macular Edema* / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Visual Acuity / drug effects*


  • Drug Implants
  • Dexamethasone

Grant support

The authors received no specific funding for this work.