We identified treatment-naïve diabetic macular edema (DME) patients with or without subretinal fluid (SRF). We compared their baseline characteristics: aqueous concentrations of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and IL-17, as well as tumor necrosis factor-α, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and placental growth factor (PlGF). We also compared fundus and optical coherence tomography (OCT) findings, and responsiveness to anti-VEGF treatments. Of 67 DME patients, 18 (26.87%) had SRF. Compared to the no SRF group, the SRF group had significantly higher levels of IL-6, IL-8, VEGF, and PlGF in aqueous humor. After grouping according to diabetic retinopathy stage, non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) patients with SRF had higher aqueous levels of IL-6 and IL-8, compared to NPDR patients without SRF. Moreover, proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) patients with SRF had higher aqueous levels of VEGF and PlGF, compared to PDR patients without SRF. Fundus and OCT analyses revealed that the SRF group had a greater proportion of patients with succinate or patch-shaped hard exudates involving the macula, and greater central subfield thickness (CST) at baseline. After 6 months of anti-VEGF treatments, the SRF group showed better responsiveness in terms of CST; however, visual acuity was not correlated with responsiveness. Considering higher aqueous levels of VEGFs and pro-inflammatory cytokines, SRF could be a biomarker related to diabetic retinopathy activity. DME patients with SRF showed better anatomical responsiveness to anti-VEGF treatments, but did not show better functional improvement on short-term evaluation compared to those of DME patients without SRF.