MERIT- Macula Edema Ranibizumab v. Intravitreal anti-inflammatory Therapy.

Macular oedema is swelling of the retina at the back of the eye. Macular oedema can cause vision loss. The standard treatment for macular oedema is injections of corticosteroid drugs next to the eye or directly into the eye. Repeated corticosteroid injections can cause side effects such as increase in eye pressure and cataracts formation. This study is aimed at testing whether other drugs that are not steroids are more effective than intravitreal corticosteroids in treating macular oedema.

Move cursor to compare an OCT scan of a normal retina and a retina with macular oedema.

There are two types of corticosteroid drugs that are used as standard treatment for macular oedema.  One type is triamcinolone, another type of corticosteroid drug that is used to treat uveitic macular oedema is dexamethasone (also known as Ozurdex). Dexamethasone is in a pellet that releases medicine over time. Because the medicine is released over time, the treatment effect lasts longer.  An applicator is used to inject a dexamethasone pellet into the eye. It is a standard treatment for uveitic macular oedema that is approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Recent research has shown that other drugs injected into the eye can reduce macular oedema in patients with uveitis. These drugs may have fewer side effects than the usual treatments. Two drugs that have been shown to reduce macular oedema in small studies are methotrexate and ranibizumab (also known as Lucentis). This study is aimed at comparing dexamethasone, methotrexate, and ranibizumab to find out which is the safest and most effective in treating persistent or recurrent macular oedema.