Prognostic significance of foveal capillary drop-out and previous panretinal photocoagulation for diabetic macular oedema treated with ranibizumab

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To investigate the prognostic significance of macular capillary drop-out and previous panretinal laser photocoagulation in diabetic macular oedema treated with intravitreal ranibizumab.


Retrospective observational case series. Treatment-naive patients with diabetic macular oedema that had been treated with intravitreal ranibizumab as per the RESTORE study protocol for at least 12 months were included. Some patients (n=15) had previous panretinal laser photocoagulation. Best-corrected visual acuity and central retina thickness were recorded monthly. The foveal avascular zone and the perifoveal capillaries were quantitatively and qualitatively assessed on fluorescein angiography on two occasions during the observational period.


From the 46 eyes (46 patients) in this study, 13 (28%) had evidence of perifoveal capillary drop-out. Central retinal thickness was significantly thinner at baseline (p=0.02) and throughout the study period in these eyes compared with those with normal perifoveal capillaries. Both groups responded with a significant gain of best-corrected visual acuity to ranibizumab treatment (7.6±3.3 and 6.3±1.3 ETDRS letters, respectively). Eyes with previous panretinal laser photocoagulation displayed a comparable final outcome regarding function and morphology, requiring a similar intensity of intravitreal injections.


Perifoveal capillary drop-out did not limit the gain of visual acuity from intravitreal ranibizumab treatment. The reduction of central retina thickness was similar to that seen in eyes with normal perifoveal capillaries. Central retinal thickness in eyes with perifoveal capillary drop-out was generally reduced. However, this did not affect their benefit from treatment. Ranibizumab did not increase the amount of perifoveal capillary loss.

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