To evaluate the efficacy of pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) in the management of chronic uveitic cystoid macular oedema (CMO).
A prospective, interventional, randomised, controlled, pilot study. 23 eyes of 23 patients with CMO secondary to chronic intermediate or posterior uveitis unresponsive to medical treatment were randomised into a surgical (group S) or medical group (group M). 12 patients in group S underwent PPV as opposed to 11 patients in group M who received systemic corticosteroid and/or immunosuppressive treatment during the study period. The primary outcome measures of the study were change in visual acuity and angiographic appearance of CMO at 6 months.
Mean visual acuity in group S improved significantly from 1.0 (0.62) at baseline to 0.55 (0.29) at 6 months following vitrectomy (p = 0.011), with five (42%) eyes reaching vision of 20/40 or better. Conversely, mean visual acuity in group M improved only marginally by 0.03 (0.27) (p = 0.785). CMO after vitrectomy was angiographically improved in four (33%) eyes, remained unchanged in seven (58%) eyes, and deteriorated in one (8%) eye. In the medical group, fluorescein leakage decreased in one eye, did not alter in four eyes, and deteriorated in two eyes.
PPV for macular oedema secondary to chronic uveitis despite angiographic improvement in only one third of the patients, seems to have a significant beneficial effect on visual function. This study provides enough evidence to justify a large scale trial which would define the role of vitrectomy in uveitic macular oedema.
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