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Thiazolidinediones Not Linked to Diabetic Macular Edema

And, intravitreous dexamethasone may be effective treatment for diabetic macular edema

THURSDAY, March 11 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with type 2 diabetes, thiazolidinedione exposure is not associated with an increased risk of diabetic macular edema. In addition, an intravitreous dexamethasone drug delivery system shows promise in the treatment of persistent diabetic macular edema, according to research published in the March issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

Walter T. Ambrosius, Ph.D., of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional analysis of data on 3,473 diabetes patients, including 695 (20 percent) who had used thiazolidinediones and 217 (6.2 percent) who had diabetic macular edema. They found that thiazolidinedione use was not associated with diabetic macular edema in either unadjusted or adjusted analyses (odds ratios, 1.01 and 0.97, respectively).

Julia A. Haller, M.D., of the Wills Eye Institute in Philadelphia, and colleagues studied 171 eyes with diabetic macular edema which were randomized to treatment with 700 or 350 µg of intravitreous dexamethasone or observation. After 90 days, they found that the higher dose of dexamethasone was associated with statistically significant improvements in best-corrected visual acuity, central retinal thickness, and fluorescein leakage compared with observation.

"We cannot rule out the possibility of either a modest protective or deleterious association of thiazolidinedione exposure with diabetic macular edema," Ambrosius and colleagues conclude. "A more definitive answer may be provided from the four-year follow-up data, which will enable us to examine prospectively the relationship between thiazolidinedione exposure and diabetic macular edema incidence."

The second study was supported by Oculex Pharmaceuticals Inc.; several authors of both studies reported financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies.

Abstract - Ambrosius
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Abstract - Haller
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