Background: Our purpose was to compare the effect of triamcinolone and bevacizumab (Avastin) on the retinal thickness and functional outcome in patients with diabetic macular edema. Methods and Materials: A collective of 32 patients, who had been treated by a single 4.0-mg intravitreal triamcinolone injection (group 1), was matched to 32 patients (‘matched pairs’), who had received 3 injections of 1.25 mg of bevacizumab within 3 months in 4-week intervals (group 2). The outcome variables were changes in best corrected visual acuity (VA) and central retinal thickness 3 months after therapy. Results: Both groups did not differ regarding preoperative VA and central retinal thickness measured by optical coherence tomography. The baseline mean VA was 0.72 ± 0.39 logMAR in group 1 and 0.73 ± 0.39 logMAR in group 2 (p = 0.709). The mean central retinal thickness measured by optical coherence tomography was 548 ± 185 µm in group 1 and 507 ± 192 µm in group 2. While the patients in group 1 experienced a slight increase in VA of on average 0.7 lines following a single triamcinolone injection to a mean of 0.64 ± 0.40 logMAR (p = 0.066) after 3 months, the patients in group 2 showed almost no effect on VA with an average increase of 0.2 lines to a mean VA of 0.72 ± 0.30 logMAR (p = 0.948) following 3 intravitreal injections of bevacizumab. Comparing the effect on VA between both groups no statistically significant difference (p = 0.115) was noted. Concerning decrease in central retinal thickness both therapies were highly effective (p < 0.001 each), again, without statistically significant difference between the groups (p < 0.128). Conclusion: Our data suggest that a single triamcinolone injection may be as effective as a 3 times repeated intravitreal administration of bevacizumab for the treatment of diabetic macular edema. Further prospective trials should be performed.

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