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Therapeutic effect of dexamethasone implant in retinal vein occlusions resistant to anti-VEGF therapy

Authors Wallsh J, Sharareh B, Gallemore R

Received 30 January 2016

Accepted for publication 8 March 2016

Published 25 May 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 947—954

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S105412

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Josh Wallsh, Behnam Sharareh, Ron Gallemore

Retina Macula Institute, Torrance, CA, USA

Purpose: To test the efficacy of the intravitreal dexamethasone (DEX) implant in patients with retinal vein occlusions (RVOs) who have failed multiple anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) treatments.
Methods: A randomized exploratory study of ten patients with branch RVO or central RVO who received at least two previous anti-VEGF treatments and had persistent or unresponsive cystoid macular edema. Treatment with the DEX implant was either every 4 months or pro re nata (PRN) depending on their group assignment for 1 year. Multifocal electroretinography and microperimetry were the primary end points, with high-resolution optical coherence tomography and best-corrected visual acuity as the secondary end points.
Results: All patients in both the every 4 month and PRN cohorts who completed the study received the three maximal injections of DEX; therefore, the data from both cohorts were combined and reported as a case series. On average, the multifocal electroretinography amplitude increased significantly from 5.11±0.66 to 24.19±5.30 nV/deg2 at 12 months (P<0.005), mean macular sensitivity increased from 7.67±2.10 to 8.01±1.98 dB at 4 months (P=0.32), best-corrected visual acuity increased significantly from 51.0±5.1 to 55.4±5.1 early treatment of diabetic retinopathy study letters at 2 months (P<0.05), and central retinal thickness decreased from 427.6±39.5 to 367.1±37.8 µm at 4 months (P<0.05). Intraocular pressure increased significantly in one patient, with that patient requiring an additional glaucoma medication for management. Additionally, cataract progression increased significantly (P<0.05) in this patient population and partially limited analysis of other end points.
Conclusion: DEX should be considered as a treatment option in patients with RVOs who have failed anti-VEGF therapy, as the results of this study demonstrated an improvement in retinal morphology and macular function. Cataract progression did occur following multiple consecutive injections; however, steroid-induced glaucoma was not a limiting factor.

Keywords: retinal vein occlusion, intravitreal dexamethasone implant, multifocal electroretinography, anti-VEGF, cataract progression

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