Cystoid Macular Edema: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment


  • Noelia Bravo-Alcobendas Instituto de Investigaciones Oftalmológicas Ramón Castroviejo. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Madrid, Spain.
  • Joseba Zulueta Instituto de Investigaciones Oftalmológicas Ramón Castroviejo. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Madrid, Spain.
  • Elena Salobrar-García Instituto de Investigaciones Oftalmológicas Ramón Castroviejo. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Madrid, Spain.
  • Juan J Salazar Instituto de Investigaciones Oftalmológicas Ramón Castroviejo. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Madrid, Spain
  • José M Ramírez Instituto de Investigaciones Oftalmológicas Ramón Castroviejo. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Madrid, Spain.



Macular edema, Etiology, diagnosis, ophthalmology, therapeutics


The purpose of this paper is to conduct a review of studies on cystoid macular edema published in the last seven years. Cystoid macular edema is a major cause of loss of visual acuity. It is the final common pathway of many diseases and can be caused by numerous processes including inflammatory, vascular, adverse drug reactions, retinal dystrophy or intraocular tumors. These processes disrupt the blood-retinal barrier, with fluid extravasation to the macular parenchyma. Imaging tests are essential for both detection and monitoring of this pathology. Fluorescein angiography and autofluorescence show the leakage of liquid from perifoveal vessels into the tissue where it forms cystic spaces. Optical coherence tomography is currently the gold standard technique for diagnosis and monitoring. This allows objective measurement of retinal thickness, which correlates with visual acuity and provides more complete morphological information. Based on the underlying etiology, the therapeutic approach can be either surgical or medical with anti-inflammatory drugs. We found that disruption of the blood-retinal barrier for various reasons is the key point in the pathogenesis of cystoid macular edema, therefore we believe that studies on its treatment should proceed on this path.


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Author Biography

Noelia Bravo-Alcobendas, Instituto de Investigaciones Oftalmológicas Ramón Castroviejo. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Madrid, Spain.

Noelia Bravo is currently a 6th year medical student of Universidad Complutense,  Madrid, Spain of a 6 year program. Joseba Zulueta is currently a 6th year medical student of  Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain of a 6 year program.


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How to Cite

Bravo-Alcobendas, N., Zulueta, J., Salobrar-García, E., J Salazar, J., & M Ramírez, J. (2015). Cystoid Macular Edema: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment. International Journal of Medical Students, 3(3), 131–139.