Is There A Relationship Between Recurrence of Macular Edema Associated with Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion and Choroidal Thickness?

Macular edema following branch retinal vein occlusion is not uncommon, but data are lacking on the relationship between macular edema recurrence and choroid thickness. A study sought to determine what, if any, relationship exists.

Patients with macular edema recurrence within six months of intravitreal aflibercept injection treatment for naïve macular edema associated with branch retinal vein occlusion were retrospectively reviewed. Retinal and choroid thickness measurements in the fovea and on the occlusion, non-occlusion, nasal, and temporal sides were recorded at baseline, after the first intravitreal aflibercept administration, and before and after recurrence.

A total of 11 patients (11 eyes) were included. At baseline, the subfoveal choroid thickness was 261.9 ± 93.4 μm, and retinal thickness was 691.5 ± 254.4 μm; at one month following the first injection, both thicknesses significantly decreased to 208.5 ± 70.3 μm and 188.6 ± 33.8 μm, respectively (P=0.001 and P<0.01, respectively). Decreases were observed at all sites following treatment. During the six months after treatment, 14 recurrences occurred, and significant changes in retinal thickness were observed at all sites before and after recurrence and reinjection. Significant changes in choroidal thickness were observed at the subfoveal and on the occlusion and non-occlusion sides, but not on the nasal and temporal sides.

“In patients with branch retinal vein occlusion, the [choroidal thickness] around the macula after initial treatment was significantly reduced; however, at the time of macular edema recurrence and reinjection, there were site-dependent differences in the changes observed in the [choroidal thickness]. These findings suggest that the pathologies of macular edema at initial occurrence and at the time of recurrence are different,” the researchers concluded.