U.S researchers – comparing treatments for the eye condition uveitis – have found that a time-release corticosteroid implant placed surgically in the eye is similarly effective in treating the disease as drugs taken orally.
Uveitis is a collection of diseases characterised by inflammation inside the eye that damage the eye tissues. Without aggressive treatment, it will often lead to blindness at a relatively early age.
Conventional treatment generally has called for patients to take corticosteroid and immunosuppressive drug pills long-term. A more recent treatment options for severe uveitis involves an intraocular implant that is surgically inserted into the eye and slowly releases corticosteroid medication over several years.
This new study, the Multicenter Uveitis Steroid Treatment (MUST) Trial, published in the journal Ophthalmology, is the first to establish that local treatment with the intraocular implant is as effective as the standard systemic treatment in managing the condition.
These results … really give doctors and patients more options for choosing a treatment based upon their individual circumstances
“These results … really give doctors and patients more options for choosing a treatment based upon their individual circumstances,” said study leader, Dr. Douglas Jabs, Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
The MUST Trial randomly assigned 255 patients to one of the two treatment options and monitored their vision and health for two years. Australian patients were included in the trial, along with patients from the US and UK.