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Update on corticosteroids for diabetic macular edema

Authors Schwartz S, Scott I, Stewart M, Flynn Jr. H

Received 22 June 2016

Accepted for publication 11 July 2016

Published 8 September 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 1723—1730

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S115546

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Stephen G Schwartz,1 Ingrid U Scott,2,3 Michael W Stewart,4 Harry W Flynn Jr1

1Department of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, 2Department of Ophthalmology, 3Department of Public Health Sciences, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, 4Department of Ophthalmology, Mayo Clinic Florida, Jacksonville, FL, USA

Abstract: Diabetic macular edema (DME) remains an important cause of visual loss. Although anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agents are generally used as first-line treatments for patients with center-involving DME, there is an important role for corticosteroids as well. Corticosteroids may be especially useful in pseudophakic patients poorly responsive to anti-VEGF therapies, in patients wishing to reduce the number of required injections, and in pregnant patients. Intravitreal triamcinolone acetonide has been used for many years but is not approved for this indication. An extended-release bioerodable dexamethasone delivery system and an extended-release nonbioerodable fluocinolone acetonide insert have both achieved regulatory approval for the treatment of DME. All intravitreal corticosteroids are associated with risks of cataract progression, elevation of intraocular pressure, and endophthalmitis. There is no current consensus regarding the use of corticosteroids, but they are valuable for selected patients with center-involving DME.

Keywords: diabetic macular edema, vascular endothelial growth factor, triamcinolone acetonide, dexamethasone, fluocinolone acetonide, randomized clinical trial

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