Fluocinolone acetonide intravitreal implant for diabetic macular edema: A 3-year multicenter, randomized, controlled clinical trial

P. Andrew Pearson, Timothy L. Comstock, Michael Ip, David Callanan, Lawrence S. Morse, Paul Ashton, Brian Levy, Eric S. Mann, Dean Eliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

178 Scopus citations


Purpose: We studied the 3-year efficacy and safety results of a 4-year study evaluating fluocinolone acetonide (FA) intravitreal implants in eyes with persistent or recurrent diabetic macular edema (DME). Design: Prospective, evaluator-masked, controlled, multicenter clinical trial. Participants: We included 196 eyes with refractory DME. Methods: Patients were randomized 2:1 to receive 0.59-mg FA implant (n = 127) or standard of care (SOC additional laser or observation; n = 69). The implant was inserted through a pars plana incision. Visits were scheduled on day 2, weeks 1, 3, 6, 12, and 26, and thereafter every 13 weeks through 3 years postimplantation. Main Outcome Measures: The primary efficacy outcome was <15-letter improvement in visual acuity (VA) at 6 months. Secondary outcomes included resolution of macular retinal thickening and Diabetic Retinopathy Severity Score (DRSS). Safety measures included incidence of adverse events (AEs). Results: Overall, VA improved <3 lines in 16.8% of implanted eyes at 6 months (P=0.0012; SOC, 1.4%); in 16.4% at 1 year (P=0.1191; SOC, 8.1%); in 31.8% at 2 years (P=0.0016; SOC, 9.3%); and in 31.1% at 3 years (P=0.1566; SOC, 20.0%). The number of implanted eyes with no evidence of retinal thickening at the center of the macula was higher than SOC eyes at 6 months (P<0.0001), 1 year (P<0.0001; 72% vs 22%), 2 years (P=0.016), and 3 years (P=0.861). A higher rate of improvement and lower rate of decline in DRSS occurred in the implanted group versus the SOC group at 6 months (P=0.0006), 1 year (P=0.0016), 2 years (P=0.012), and 3 years (P=0.0207). Intraocular pressure (IOP) <30 mmHg was recorded in 61.4% of implanted eyes (SOC, 5.8%) at any time and 33.8% required surgery for ocular hypertension by 4 years. Of implanted phakic eyes, 91% (SOC, 20%) had cataract extraction by 4 years. Conclusions: The FA intravitreal implant met the primary and secondary outcomes, with significantly improved VA and DRSS and reduced DME. The most common AEs included cataract progression and elevated IOP. The 0.59-mg FA intravitreal implant may be an effective treatment for eyes with persistent or recurrent DME. Financial Disclosure(s): Proprietary or commercial disclosure may be found after the references.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1580-1587
Number of pages8
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support for this research was provided by Bausch & Lomb Incorporated, Rochester, New York. The sponsor participated in the design of the study; conducting the study; data collection, management, and analysis; interpretation of the data; and preparation, review, and approval of the manuscript.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


Dive into the research topics of 'Fluocinolone acetonide intravitreal implant for diabetic macular edema: A 3-year multicenter, randomized, controlled clinical trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this