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Review Article

The Role of Steroids and NSAIDs in Prevention and Treatment of Postsurgical Cystoid Macular Edema

[ Vol. 24 , Issue. 41 ]


Andrzej Grzybowski* and Piotr Kanclerz   Pages 4896 - 4902 ( 7 )


Background: Pseudophakic cystoid macular edema (PCME) remains one of the most common visionthreatening complication of phacoemulsification cataract surgery (PCS). Pharmacological therapy is the current mainstay of both prophylaxis, and treatment of PCME in patients undergoing PCS. We aimed to review pharmacological treatment options for PCME, which primarily include topical steroids, topical nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), periocular and intravitreal steroids, as well as anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy.

Methods: The PubMed and Web Of Science web platforms were used to find relevant studies using the following keywords: cataract surgery, phacoemulsification, cystoid macular edema, and pseudophakic cystoid macular edema. Of articles retrieved by this method, all publications in English and abstracts of non-English publications were reviewed. Other studies were also considered as a potential source of information when referenced in relevant articles. The search revealed 193 publications. Finally 82 articles dated from 1974 to 2018 were assessed as significant and analyzed.

Results: Based on the current literature, we found that corticosteroids remain the mainstay of PCME prophylaxis in uncomplicated cataract surgery, while it is still unclear if NSAID can offer additional benefits. In patients at risk for PCME development, periocular subconjunctival injection of triamcinolone acetonide may prevent PCME development. For PCME treatment the authors recommend a stepwise therapy: initial topical steroids and adjuvant NSAIDs, followed by additional posterior sub-Tenon or retrobulbar corticosteroids in moderate PCME, and intravitreal corticosteroids in recalcitrant PCME. Intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agents may be considered in patients unresponsive to steroid therapy at risk of elevated intraocular pressure, and with comorbid macular disease.

Conclusion: Therapy with topical corticosteroids and NSAIDs is the mainstay of PCME prophylaxis and treatment, however, periocular and intravitreal steroids should be considered in refractory cases.


Cataract surgery, periocular steroids, intravitreal steroids, pseudophakic cystoid macular edema, NSAID, PCS.


Department of Ophthalmology, University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn, Private Practice, Gdansk

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