Last week, I introduced “Mrs. Ozurdex,” an elderly female who has a central retinal vein occlusion in her right eye. Several weeks ago, I implanted a sustained release steroid delivery system, called Ozurdex® (Allergan). Ozurdex is indicated, and FDA approved, for the treatment of CRVO.
If you recall, another patient, “Mr. Ozurdex” had a branch retinal vein occlusion. He, too, received Ozurdex. After only two weeks there seemed to be impressive recovery of his vision! Mrs. Ozurdex has a poorer prognosis due to the difference in the diagnosis, that is, a CRVO has more dramatic loss of vision and a poorer visual prognosis.
Still, Ozurdex is indicated to treat both.
Mrs. Ozurdex returned last Thursday. I wanted to make sure that she was healing well after the injection and that her intraocular pressure (IOP) was within normal limits. I did not expect any change in her vision, despite Mr. Ozurdex’s shocking improvement.
Mrs. Ozurdex came to the office as happy as ever (remember “glass is half full?”). Her eye was comfortable, her eye pressure was normal, yet there was no change in her vision.
What Does This Mean? Actually this means very little in terms of her vision. It is too early to assess. I needed to see her to make sure that there were no complications from the injection of Ozurdex, namely; bleeding, retinal detachment and pressure changes. This is normal protocol. While it would have been nice to see some change in vision, I needed to insure that there were no problems.
Much of what a retinal surgeon does is to keep status quo. We also aim to limit complications. While I am now satisfied we have not caused additional harm to Mrs. Ozurdex, I am still keeping my fingers crossed for her. We should see some improvement after one month. The drug will be released for up to 6 months.