TREATMENT OF INTRACTABLE POSTERIOR UVEITIS IN PEDIATRIC PATIENTS WITH THE FLUOCINOLONE ACETONIDE INTRAVITREAL IMPLANT (RETISERT)

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Abstract

Purpose:

To evaluate the efficacy and safety of the fluocinolone acetonide intravitreal implant in pediatric patients with intractable noninfectious posterior uveitis.

Methods:

A retrospective chart review was performed on all patients aged <18 years on whom a fluocinolone implant was used to treat intractable posterior uveitis at our institution. Conventional treatment with topical and systemic steroids and/or systemic steroid-sparing agents failed in all patients before proceeding with an implant. Each implant contained 0.59 mg of fluocinolone acetonide. Implants were placed in the inferonasal quadrant through a pars plana incision and sutured in place with 8-0 proline suture. Postoperatively, patients were followed for improvement in Snellen visual acuity, control of inflammation, and development of complications such as infection or uncontrolled intraocular pressure in the eyes.

Results:

The study included six eyes of four patients. Mean age at implant placement was 9.2 years (range, 6–13 years). Four eyes were pseudophakic at the time of surgery; one eye had pars plana lensectomy at the time of surgery. Mean follow-up duration was 698 days (range, 376–1,189 days). Postoperative visual acuity improved by ≥3 lines in 3 eyes. Four eyes had postoperative intraocular spikes ≥30 mmHg, with 2 eyes having ≥40 mmHg. Two of these patients required glaucoma shunting procedures postoperatively for intraocular pressure control. Inflammation was well controlled postoperatively in all six eyes with all eyes successfully weaned off of topical steroids. The single phakic eye developed a visually significant cataract 18 months postoperatively requiring cataract extraction. There were no cases of postoperative infection. There were no postoperative complications of surgical technique including no instances of wound leakage or implant dislocation.

Conclusion:

The fluocinolone implant can be used effectively for control of posterior inflammation in pediatric patients. As in adults, concerns for development of cataract and secondary glaucoma remain. No other safety concerns were evident in this pilot study.

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