Intravitreal Dexamethasone Implant (IDI) Alone and Combined with Navigated 577 nm Subthreshold Micropulse Laser (SML) for Diabetic Macular Oedema

J Clin Med. 2022 Sep 2;11(17):5200. doi: 10.3390/jcm11175200.


Background: The anatomical and functional changes after intravitreal dexamethasone implant (IDI) alone and combined with navigated subthreshold micropulse laser (NSML) in diabetic macular oedema (DMO) were compared.

Methods: Patients with a clinically confirmed diagnosis of non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) and DMO were enrolled in this prospective study and were randomly assigned to two different treatment groups: thirty patients were treated with IDI (IDI group), and the other 30 patients received IDI combined with NSML treatment (combined IDI/NSML group). All patients during a 6-month follow-up underwent best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) evaluation and spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD OCT). The main outcome measures were: BCVA, central macular thickness (CMT); (3) choroidal vascularity index (CVI), subfoveal choroidal thickness (SCHT); and time to retreatment between IDI at baseline and the second implant in both groups.

Results: BCVA, CMT, and SCHT significantly decreased starting from the 1-month follow-up and CVI from 3 months in both groups. The between-group differences were significantly different from 1-month follow-up for BCVA, from 5-month follow-up for CMT and SCHT, and from 4-month follow-up for CVI. The Needed to Treat analysis indicated that six patients would have to be treated with SML after IDI in order for just one person to receive a benefit.

Conclusions: the combined treatment showed good anatomical and functional outcomes for the treatment of DMO. In addition, IDI/SML seems to reduce injection frequency over time, improving patients' quality of life and reducing the socio-economic burden.

Keywords: diabetic macular oedema; intravitreal dexamethasone implant; navigated subthreshold micropulse laser.

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.