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Uveitis Implants May Increase Intraocular Pressure

Complication is common in patients who receive fluocinolone acetonide intravitreal implants

TUESDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with uveitis who are treated with fluocinolone acetonide intravitreal implants, elevated intraocular pressure is a significant complication, researchers report in an early release article published online Oct. 8 in the Archives of Ophthalmology.

Debra A. Goldstein, M.D., of the University of Illinois at Chicago, and colleagues pooled data from three double-masked, randomized, controlled, phase 2b/3 clinical trials involving 294 eyes that were implanted with the 0.59-mg fluocinolone acetonide implant and 290 eyes that were implanted with the 2.1-mg implant.

During a mean three-year follow-up, the researchers identified intraocular pressure increases of 10 mm Hg or more in 71 percent of the implanted eyes. They also found that 55.1 percent of eyes reached an intraocular pressure of 30 mm Hg or more and that significant percentages of eyes also reached pressure of 40 mm Hg or more and 50 mm Hg or more (24.7 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively). In most cases, the investigators found that the complication was manageable with medication and intraocular pressure-lowering surgery.

"Patients and treating physicians must be cognizant of the very real possibility of marked elevation in intraocular pressure (unlikely to resolve on its own) secondary to this implant, prepared for frequent follow-up to monitor intraocular pressure rises and/or spikes, and aware of the significant risk of requiring glaucoma surgery," the authors state.

This study was funded by Bausch & Lomb, Inc., of Rochester, N.Y.

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