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Single perioperative subconjunctival steroid depot versus postoperative steroid eyedrops to prevent intraocular inflammation and macular edema after cataract surgery.

J Cataract Refract Surg 2011, vol. 37, issue 9

PURPOSE

To compare the efficacy of dexamethasone 0.1% eyedrops after phacoemulsification versus a single perioperative subconjunctival injection of betamethasone acetate 5.7 mg/mL to prevent anterior segment inflammation and macular edema.

SETTING

Rotterdam Eye Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

DESIGN

Randomized clinical trial.

METHODS

Patients scheduled for cataract surgery were randomly assigned to receive a perioperative subconjunctival injection of betamethasone acetate 5.7 mg/mL (Group 1) or postoperative administration of dexamethasone 0.1% eyedrops (Group 2). Primary outcomes were foveal thickness and macular edema on optical coherence tomography (OCT) and anterior chamber flare by a laser flare meter preoperatively and 4 weeks postoperatively. Secondary outcomes were intraocular pressure, need for additional outpatient clinic visits, phacoemulsification energy, verbal-rating pain scale, and corrected distance visual acuity.

RESULTS

The study enrolled 400 patients (400 eyes). Four weeks postoperatively, the mean flare values were significantly higher in Group 1 than in Group 2 (P=.003). The incidence of macular edema on OCT and clinically significant macular edema were not significantly different between groups (P=.685 and P=.386, respectively). No significant difference was observed in any other outcome measure.

CONCLUSION

A single subconjunctival betamethasone acetate injection appears to be a useful alternative to prolonged postoperative administration of dexamethasone eyedrops in controlling intraocular inflammation and development of macular edema after phacoemulsification.

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