To evaluate the long-term safety and efficacy of the intravitreal dexamethasone implant in the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME) as initial therapy.
A hospital-based prospective, non-comparative case study of recently detected DME patients was conducted between July 2016 and December 2017, in which30 eyes of 30 patients were studied. Presenting vision, age, gender, duration of diabetes, general and ocular examination, intraocular pressure, indirect ophthalmoscopy, fundus fluorescein angiography, optical coherence tomography (OCT), and blood sugar levels were noted. Patients with increased central macular thickness (CMT) received an intravitreal dexamethasone implant as initial therapy. All were followed up at 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year, and the findings were recorded and analyzed using SPSS software.
30 eyes of 30 patients were studied which included 22 males and 8 females. The mean age of presentation was 58.7 ± 4.45 years. The mean decrease in CMT following intravitreal dexamethasone was 269.27 ± 112.002, 253.5 ± 108.294, and 286.73 ± 143.395 μm at the end of 3, 6, and 12 months, respectively, and the mean improvement in visual acuity (VA) was 2.27 ± 1.70 lines at 3 months, 2.27 ± 1.83 lines at 6 months, and 1.17 ± 2.00 lines at 12 months. Out of 30 cases, 4 had persistent DME and 6 had recurrence of DME at completion of 1 year of follow-up.
Intravitreal dexamethasone as initial therapy in the treatment of DME is both safe and efficacious in the reduction of CMT and improvement of vision and can be considered as primary therapy for DME.