The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the concentration of erythropoietin as another potent ischemia-induced angiogenic factor is elevated in eyes with neovascular (age-related macular degeneration [AMD]) or oedematous (diabetic retinopathy) maculopathies. The clinical comparative study included 28 patients with diabetic macular oedema, 59 patients with exudative AMD, and 49 patients with cataract. For all patients, aqueous humour was collected during cataract surgery or during an intravitreal injection of triamcinolone acetonide. Erythropoietin levels were measured using a solid-phase chemiluminescence immunoassay. The mean concentration of erythropoietin was significantly higher in the diabetic group (60.1 ± 46.7 mUnits/mL; P < 0.001) than in the age-related macular degeneration group (22.9 ± 23.2 mUnits/mL) and in the control group (22.0 ± 21.0 mUnits/mL; P < 0.001). The two latter groups did not vary significantly (P = 0.41). The results indicate that erythropoietin may be present in considerably higher concentrations in eyes with diabetic macular oedema than in eyes with exudative AMD or normal eyes.