Send to

Choose Destination
Turk J Ophthalmol. 2019 Sep 3;49(4):194-200. doi: 10.4274/tjo.galenos.2018.19616.

The Relationship Between Macular Cyst Formation and Ischemia in Diabetic Macular Edema

Author information

Gazi University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology, Ankara, Turkey



To evaluate the relationship between cyst characteristics and macular and peripheral ischemia in diabetic macular edema (DME).

Materials and Methods:

We retrospectively reviewed eyes with DME and included those with clinically significant macular edema as defined by ETDRS (Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study) and cystoid spaces in optical coherence tomography scans in this study. Central subfield thickness (CSFT), horizontal and vertical diameters of the largest cyst, cyst area, and the remaining retinal thickness outside the cyst were determined. The presence and number of hyperreflective foci in the cyst wall and the internal reflectivity of the cyst were analyzed. Outer retinal damage was graded. Fluorescein angiography was used to determine the areas of macular and peripheral ischemia, which were graded as mild or severe. Correlations between macular and peripheral ischemia and cyst-related measurements and structural changes in the retina were evaluated.


This retrospective study included 250 eyes of 186 patients with DME. Mean CSFT was significantly greater in eyes with macular ischemia (510.4±144.7 μm) compared to eyes without macular ischemia (452.1±114.6 μm) (p=0.001). Horizontal and vertical diameter of the largest cyst increased with the presence and severity of macular ischemia (p=0.045 and p=0.016, respectively). Remaining retinal thickness increased with the presence and severity of peripheral ischemia (p=0.009). There was a statistically significant relationship between the number of the hyperreflective foci in the cyst wall and internal reflectivity of the cyst (p=0.007). Patients with greater CSFT had a 1.04-times higher odds of having macular ischemia and 0.25-times higher odds of having outer retinal damage.


The likelihood of macular ischemia increases with larger cyst diameter, CSFT, and extent of outer retinal damage. Thickness of the noncystic area is increased in the presence of peripheral ischemia.


Diabetic macular edema; diabetic macular ischemia; cystic changes; optical coherence tomography; peripheral ischemia

Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Galenos Yayinevi Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center