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Open Access Open Badges Research article

The effect of posterior subtenon methylprednisolone acetate in the refractory diabetic macular edema: a prospective nonrandomized interventional case series

Alireza Javadzadeh

Author Affiliations

Retina service, Department of Ophthalmology, Nikookari Hospital – Drug of applied research center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

BMC Ophthalmology 2006, 6:15  doi:10.1186/1471-2415-6-15

Published: 4 April 2006



To investigate the efficacy of posterior subtenon methylprednisolone acetate injection in treatment of refractory diffuse clinically significant diabetic macular edema (CSME).


In a prospective, nonrandomized, interventional case series, 52 eyes were diagnosed with CSME and treated with at least two sessions of laser photocoagulation according to Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study guidelines. At least 3 months after laser therapy, eyes with a residual central macular thickness were offered posterior subtenon injection of 40 mg methylprednisolone acetate. Main outcome measures were visual acuity, macular thickness and intraocular pressure. Potential complications were monitored, including intraocular pressure response, cataract progression and scleral perforation.


Mean baseline visual acuity (in logMAR) improved significantly (p = 0.003) from 0.8 ± 0.36 to 0.6 ± 0.41 at 3 months. Mean foveal thickness decreased from 388 ± 78 μm at baseline to 231 ± 40 μm after 3 months (p < 0.0001). Visual acuity improvement in eyes with CSME with extrafoveal hard exudates was significant (p = 0.0001), but not significant in eyes with CSME with subfoveal hard exudates (p = 0.32). Intraocular pressure increased from 14.7 ± 2.0 mmHg (range, 12–18 mmHg) to a maximum value of 15.9 ± 2.1 mmHg (range, 12–20 mmHg) during the follow-up period. Complications in two eyes developed focal conjunctival necrosis at the site of injection.


Posterior subtenon methylprednisolone acetate may improve early visual outcome in diffuse diabetic macular edema that fails to respond to conventional laser photocoagulation. Visual acuity improvement in eyes with CSME with extrafoveal hard exudates was significant; and this improvement is depends on location of hard exudates. Further study is needed to assess the long-term efficacy, safety, and retreatment.