Send to

Choose Destination
Optometry. 2005 Aug;76(8):450-60.

Complications of intravitreal steroid injections.

Author information

VA Connecticut Healthcare System, Newington Campus, Newington, Connecticut, USA.



Intravitreal corticosteroid injections are a new therapeutic procedure used to treat various retinal edematous and neovascular conditions. They have been used in the treatment of diabetic macular edema, exudative macular degeneration, pseudophakic cystoid macular edema, macular edema associated with retinal vein occlusion, and chronic uveitis as well as other conditions. Because the use of this therapeutic technique is becoming increasingly more common, adverse effects are now being seen. The most common adverse effects associated with intravitreal steroid injection are elevation of intraocular pressure and progression of cataract. Endophthalmitis, pseudoendophthalmitis, and retinal detachment have also been reported.


This report describes 2 patients who were followed up at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System Newington Campus Optometry Clinic for steroid-induced elevation of intraocular pressure after intravitreal corticosteroid injection. One patient exhibited elevation of intraocular pressure after his first intravitreal steroid injection for treatment of clinically significant macular edema secondary to diabetes. The second patient did not exhibit a steroid response to the first intravitreal steroid injection utilized as treatment for choroidal neovascularization from age-related macular degeneration. However, he did show a rise in intraocular pressure after a second intravitreal corticosteroid injection. Intraocular pressures, treatment, and frequency of follow-up in both patients pre- and postinjection are discussed.


Elevation of intraocular pressure after intravitreal steroid injection can commonly be controlled with topical glaucoma medications. Cataract progression is common in patients after intravitreal injection of corticosteroid; however, findings show these patients are at no additional risk for cataract surgery complications. Therefore, these do not appear to be major contraindications. However, because 30% to 50% of patients experience intraocular pressure rise up to a few months postinjection, and patients are at higher risk for complications such as endophthalmitis, optometrists should be aware of appropriate management after this increasingly utilized therapeutic procedure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center