To evaluate the efficacy and safety of combined 25-gauge (G) pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) with intravitreal dexamethasone implant (DXI) for the treatment of advanced stage epiretinal membrane (ERM).
Forty consecutive pseudophakic eyes with idiopathic stage 3–4 ERM and intraretinal cysts were randomly assigned to two treatment groups. Twenty eyes underwent combined 25-G PPV, ERM peeling and slow-release DXI (DEX group), whereas 20 eyes underwent standard 25-G PPV with ERM peeling only (control group). Differences in postoperative best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), intraocular pressure (IOP), central macular thickness (CMT) were evaluated.
In all patients, BCVA significantly increased at 1, 3 and 6 months after surgery compared to baseline (all p < 0.05), but at 3 and 6 months, the visual gain was higher in the DEX group (respectively, p = 0.036, p = 0.006). CMT was significantly lower in DEX group compared to control group at 3 and 6 months after surgery (respectively, p = 0.042, p = 0.003). There was no statistically significant difference in IOP change over the course of the follow-up between groups ( p > 0.05).