To compare outcomes of cataract surgery combined with either anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (anti-VEGF) therapy or dexamethasone implant (DEX) in patients with diabetic macular oedema (DMO).
Pubmed and Embase databases were searched for studies reporting outcomes of diabetic cataract surgery combined with either anti-VEGF or DEX, with a follow-up ≥3 months. The primary outcome was the mean change in central macular thickness (CMT). Mean change in best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was considered as a secondary outcome. The mean difference between baseline and post-treatment values (MD) with 95%-Confidence Interval (95%CI) was calculated and meta-analyses were performed.
Nine-teen studies were included, 8 in the DEX group and 11 in the anti-VEGF group. A significant reduction of macular thickness was shown in the DEX group at 3 months (MD = −98.35 µm; 95% CI, −147.15/−49.54), while mean CMT change was non-significant in the anti-VEGF group (MD = −21.61 µm; 95% CI, −59.46/16.24; test of group differences, P < 0.001). At 3 months, no difference in visual gain was found between the two groups (P = 0.13).
In DMO patients, cataract surgery combined with DEX seems to provide better anatomical outcomes compared with cataract surgery combined with anti-VEGF therapy. However, our evidence was limited by significant heterogeneity. Randomised trials comparing these two different combined approaches are warranted.
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We are thankful to Giorgio Pulvirenti for his contribution in data collection.
AL has consulted for Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Allergan, Janssen and Gyroscope Therapeutics. Other authors declare no competing interests.
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Fallico, M., Lotery, A., Maugeri, A. et al. Intravitreal dexamethasone implant versus anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy combined with cataract surgery in patients with diabetic macular oedema: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Eye 36, 2239–2246 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41433-021-01847-w