Bevacizumab versus triamcinolone for persistent diabetic macular edema: a randomized clinical trial

Murilo W. Rodrigues, José A. Cardillo, André Messias, Rubens C. Siqueira, Ingrid U. Scott, Rodrigo Jorge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: To evaluate 24-week visual acuity and anatomic outcomes of two “pro re nata” (prn) treatment strategies (intravitreal bevacizumab [IVB] prn versus intravitreal triamcinolone acetonide [IVT] prn) in patients with persistent diabetic macular edema (pDME) after 24 weeks of prn-IVB. Methods: One hundred eyes with center-involving DME were enrolled and treated with prn-IVB for 24 weeks; at week 24, eyes with pDME (central subfield thickness [CST] on spectral domain optical coherence tomography > 300 μm) were randomized to IVB monthly prn (group I; prn-IVB) or IVT every 3 months prn (group II; prn-IVT) and eyes in which the CST was ≤ 300 μm were assigned to continue prn-IVB (group III). Results: Seventy-four eyes completed a 48-week study period. At week 24, 65 (79.3%) eyes still had DME with CST > 300 μm and, therefore, were randomized to prn-IVB (group I, n = 33) or prn-IVT (group II, n = 32); the remaining 17 (20.7%) eyes had CST ≤ 300 μm and were assigned to continued treatment with prn-IVB (group III). At baseline, mean CST (μm) ± standard error of the mean (SEM) was 447.2 ± 24.4, 478.0 ± 19.7, and 386.0 ± 21.0 in groups I, II, and III, respectively (p > 0.05). At week 48, there was no significant difference in mean CST between groups I and II (369.9 ± 23.3 and 426.0 ± 26.1, respectively; p = 0.9995). A significant reduction in mean CST, compared with baseline, was noted at weeks 28 (p = 0.0002) and 44 (p = 0.0002) in group II. Group I did not show a significant reduction in mean CST compared with baseline at any study visit. There were no significant differences in mean CST between groups I and II at any study visit. At baseline, mean ± SEM best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) (logMAR) was 0.50 ± 0.00, 0.60 ± 0.10, and 0.50 ± 0.10 in groups I, II, and III, respectively (p > 0.05). At week 48, there was no statistically significant difference in mean BCVA between groups I and II (0.50 ± 0.10 and 0.80 ± 0.10, respectively; p = 0.4473). There was no significant improvement in mean BCVA, as compared with baseline, at any study follow-up visit in any of the groups. Group II demonstrated significantly lower BCVA after 24 weeks of IVT (at week 48) compared with baseline (p = 0.0435). There was no significant difference in mean BCVA between groups I and II at any time-point. Conclusion: In eyes with pDME after 24 weeks of treatment with prn-IVB, there was no difference between continued treatment with prn-IVB versus a treatment switch to prn-IVT with respect to mean BCVA or mean CST at week 48. However, BCVA was stable in the prn-IVB group, while prn-IVT was associated with BCVA reduction from baseline and a higher risk of IOP elevation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-490
Number of pages12
JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2020


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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