Long-Term Result of Repeat Dexamethasone Implants in Eyes with Noninfectious Uveitis
UK researchers aimed to describe the long-term outcome of eyes with uveitis after repeated treatment with dexamethasone implants (Ozurdex, Allergan) in this retrospective, observational case series of 38 eyes (27 patients) with uveitis that were treated with 61 dexamethasone implants.
All eyes underwent dexamethasone pellet implantation and anatomic and functional outcomes, as well as ocular complications, were noted. The main outcome measures were best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), central retinal thickness (CRT), vitreous haze score, and presence of increased intraocular pressure or cataract.
According to the researchers, average follow-up was 17.3 ± 1.8 months after the first implant (median, 13.3 months; range, three to 54.5 months; 54.65 eye-years), with 14 eyes (36.9%) receiving a single implant and 24 eyes (63.1%) receiving multiple implantations. After the first implantation, average BCVA improved significantly from 0.47 ± 0.05 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (logMAR) units (Snellen equivalent, 20/60) to 0.27 ± 0.07 logMAR (Snellen equivalent, 20/37; p<0.001); CRT decreased by 263 ± 44.22 µm (p=0.003), although macular edema persisted in 50% of eyes, and the percentage of eyes achieving a vitreous haze score of zero increased from 58% to 83% (p=0.03). The median duration of therapeutic effect after the first injection was six months (range, two to 42 months), with a similar response achieved after each repeat implantation. The accumulated effect of repeat dexamethasone implants resulted in a continued improvement in BCVA (R²=0.91; p<0.0001), with significant improvement and stabilization of CRT. After repeated implantations, two eyes had progression of posterior subcapsular opacities, although neither required surgery. There were seven instances of increased intraocular pressure of more than 21 mmHg at a rate of 0.13 per eye-year, all of which responded to pharmacologic treatment.
The study researchers concluded that the accumulated effect of repeat dexamethasone pellet implantations improves retinal thickness and resolves ocular inflammation, resulting in restoration of ocular function. Ocular complications were minimal, with no eyes requiring surgery for increased ocular pressure or progression of cataract.