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To describe, in a group of patients with moderately advanced retinitis pigmentosa (RP), the prevalence of cystoid macular edema (CME), the variation in foveal thickness over a 48-week period, the correlation of visual acuity (VA) with retinal thickness, and the lack of response of CME to lutein administration.Optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging of the macula and clinical examination were evaluated for 77 eyes of 39 patients with RP over 11 months, with a scan done every 6 weeks.The prevalence of CME, defined by cysts visible on OCT, was 49%. Bilateral CME was present in 44% of patients (17 of 39), and an additional two patients had unilateral CME. Central retinal thickness varied little over the 48 weeks. Sixty-six percent of the eyes with CME had VA of 20/40 or better. The eyes with CME with VA worse than 20/40 had either greater degrees of thickening or in fact had lower thickness measures. For the eyes without CME, the eyes with VA worse than 20/40 tended to have lower retinal thickness than the eyes with VA of 20/40 or better. VA was highly concordant between eyes, and did not differ significantly between the groups with and without CME. Lutein did not show a statistically significant effect on retinal thickness in the patients with or without CME, nor was such an effect observed in subgroups of patients with vision better or worse than 20/40.The prevalence rate of CME is higher than in previous reports, perhaps because the patients had some preserved macular vision and because of the use of a definition based on OCT findings. Retinal thickness remains fairly stable over time, both in eyes with CME and in eyes without CME.