Murat Karacorlu, MD, Hakan Ozdemir, MD, Serra Karacorlu, MD, Fevzi Senturk, MD – Istanbul Retina Institute, Istanbul, Turkey


To define serous macular detachment (SMD) in patients with diabetic cystoid macular edema (CME).


This study involved 78 eyes of 58 patients with diabetic CME. The patients underwent complete ophthalmic examination, fluorescein angiography and optical coherence tomography (OCT). Eyes with epiretinal membrane or vitreomacular traction were not included in study. OCT-3 was used in all patients and fundi were scanned on the horizontal, vertical and 4 oblique planes through the center of the fovea.


With OCT, 24 of 78 eyes (31%) had serous macular detachment as shown by retinal elevation over a nonreflective cavity with minimal shadowing of the underlying tissues. Fluorescein angiography did not show serous macular detachment in any patient.


Our data showed that the incidence of serous macular detachment in diabetic CME was much higher than previously reported. OCT-3 allows an in vivo cross-sectional observation of very subtle serous macular detachment that are difficult to diagnose at the slit lamp or fluorescein angiography in patients with diabetic CME.

Take-home message:

Serous macular detachment in diabetic CME is very common and should not be overlooked. Prolonged duration of SMD might effect the visual outcome.