Vitrectomized versus non-vitrectomized eyes in diabetic macular edema response to ranibizumab—retinal layers thickness as prognostic biomarkers
To evaluate the role of the vitreous in the management of diabetic macular edema with ranibizumab intravitreal injections in a pro re nata regimen. Prospective study of 50 consecutive eyes with diabetic macular edema treated with ranibizumab and 12 months of follow-up. Primary endpoint: to assess differences between non-vitrectomized and vitrectomized eyes in the number injections needed to control the edema. Secondary endpoints: comparison of groups regarding best corrected visual acuity, central foveal thickness and thickness of seven retinal layers. 46 eyes from 38 patients, 10 vitrectomized and 36 non-vitrectomized, completed the follow-up. At month 12, the two groups achieved an equivalent anatomical outcome and needed a similar number of ranibizumab intravitreal injections. In vitrectomized eyes final visual acuity was worse when baseline retinal nerve fiber layers in the central foveal subfield were thicker, showing a strong correlation (r = − 0.942, p < 0.001). A similar, albeit moderate correlation was observed in non-vitrectomized eyes (r = − 0.504, p = 0.002). A decrease of retinal nerve fiber layers inner ring thickness was correlated with a better final visual acuity only in vitrectomized eyes (r = 0.734, p = 0.016). The effect of diabetic macular edema seems to be worse in vitrectomized eyes, with a thinner inner retina reservoir.