COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Intravitreal versus retrobulbar injections of triamcinolone for macular edema associated with branch retinal vein occlusion

Ken Hayashi, Hideyuki Hayashi
American Journal of Ophthalmology 2005, 139 (6): 972-82
15953425

PURPOSE: To compare the short-term effect of intravitreal versus retrobulbar injection of triamcinolone acetonide for the treatment of macular edema caused by branch retinal vein occlusion.

DESIGN: Randomized clinical trial.

METHODS: Sixty eyes of 60 patients who had macular edema associated with branch retinal vein occlusion were randomly assigned to receive a single intravitreal injection (4 mg) or repeated retrobulbar injections (40 mg, three times) of triamcinolone. These injections (first injection in the retrobulbar group) were given approximately 1 week after focal laser photocoagulation. Using optical coherence tomography, the central retinal (foveal) thickness and total macular volume were measured before and at 1 and 3 months after injection. Visual acuity, intraocular pressure, and the incidence of reinjection were also examined. Fifty-two patients (86.7%) completed the 3-month follow-up.

RESULTS: The mean foveal thickness and total macular volume decreased significantly after either intravitreal or repeated retrobulbar triamcinolone injections. Foveal thickness and macular volume were significantly less after intravitreal injection than after repeated retrobulbar injections, although there had been no significant differences at baseline. The percent reductions in foveal thickness and macular volume were also greater after intravitreal injection than after retrobulbar injections. Improvement in visual acuity was significantly better after intravitreal injection than after the retrobulbar injections. The incidence of intraocular pressure rise (to > or =20 mm Hg) was greater in the intravitreal group than in the retrobulbar group, but this was readily controlled by the use of antiglaucoma medications. After completion of the 3-month follow-up, 24 patients (46.2%) underwent reinjection. The need for reinjections was significantly greater in the retrobulbar group than in the intravitreal group (P = .0001).

CONCLUSIONS: A single intravitreal injection of triamcinolone is significantly more effective than are repeated retrobulbar injections in reducing macular edema associated with branch retinal vein occlusion, and leads to greater improvement in visual acuity.

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