Purpose: To investigate baseline characteristics of patients undergoing additional antivascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) injections for residual or recurrent diabetic macular edema (DME) in the first year after 0.19-mg fluocinolone acetonide (FAc) implant. Design: Prospective cohort study. Methods: Ninety-four eyes of 66 patients received an FAc implant. Eyes with persistent or recurrent DME were managed with pro re nata anti-VEGF agents. Demographic data and medical history were collected at baseline. Best-corrected visual acuity and central macular thickness were measured every 2 months. The 3 outcomes explored were 1) the risk factors for administration of additional anti-VEGF agents, 2) the interval from FAc to first anti-VEGF injection; and 3) the number of anti-VEGF doses required to maintain regression of DME. Results: Eighteen eyes (19.1%) of 13 patients received 1.3 ± 0.6 anti-VEGF injections. These eyes had significantly thicker central macular thickness at baseline and over the entire follow-up period (P < .001); best-corrected visual acuity was similar at every time point to eyes that were not receiving extra DME treatments. Eyes without preexistent panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) had a higher risk to undergo supplemental treatments (hazard ratio 1.5 [95% confidence interval 1.1-2.5, P = .03). The interval between FAc implant and the first anti-VEGF had a significant linear positive relationship with the number of dexamethasone implants before FAc implant (P = .002, R2 = 0.47). No association was found between baseline factors and the number of injections given. Conclusion: Anti-VEGF agents are efficient treatment to maintain visual acuity in residual/recurrent DME after FAc. Patients with higher baseline central macular thickness and with no previous central macular thickness are more likely to require additional treatments to control DME.
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