Steroids improve vision in diabetic macular oedema

The therapy involves injecting fluocinolone acetonide into the eye in the form of a cylindrical polymer. The insert is tiny – about 1/32 the size of a grain of rice.

The research found that there was an improvement of at least 15 letters on eye-chart examinations in 16% of the control group, and 28% of both the low-dose and high-dose groups. 

A further 13% of the control group, 34% of the low-dose group, and 38% of the high-dose group had some improvement in vision. 

Adverse effects were widespread, with 80–87% of patients needing cataract extraction. Elevated intraocular pressure was also an issue, with 4% of patients requiring trabeculoplasty.

American Academy of Ophthalmology 2011 Annual Meeting: Abstract PA045, 25 Oct