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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 989501, 14 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/989501
Review Article

Intravitreal Steroids for the Treatment of Retinal Diseases

1Department of Ophthalmology, University of Udine, Piazza Santa Maria della Misericordia, 33100 Udine, Italy
2Department of Ophthalmology, University of Sassari, Piazza D’Armi, 07100 Sassari, Italy

Received 19 August 2013; Accepted 10 October 2013; Published 8 January 2014

Academic Editors: N. Gupta and F. M. Penha

Copyright © 2014 Valentina Sarao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Diabetic macular edema (DME), pseudophakic cystoid macular edema (CME), age-related macular degeneration (AMD), retinal vascular occlusion (RVO), and uveitis are ocular conditions related to severe visual impairment worldwide. Corticosteroids have been widely used in the treatment of these retinal diseases, due to their well-known antiangiogenic, antiedematous, and anti-inflammatory properties. Intravitreal steroids have emerged as novel and essential tools in the ophthalmologist’s armamentarium, allowing for maximization of drug efficacy and limited risk of systemic side effects. Recent advances in ocular drug delivery methods led to the development of intraocular implants, which help to provide prolonged treatment with controlled drug release. Moreover, they may add some potential advantages over traditional intraocular injections by delivering certain rates of drug directly to the site of action, amplifying the drug’s half-life, contributing in the minimization of peak plasma levels of the drug, and avoiding the side effects associated with repeated intravitreal injections. The purpose of this review is to provide an update on the use of intravitreal steroids as a treatment option for a variety of retinal diseases and to review the current literature considering their properties, safety, and adverse events.