What is the significance of macular edema in diabetic retinopathy?

Updated: Sep 02, 2021
  • Author: Abdhish R Bhavsar, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
  • Print

Macular edema is the leading cause of visual impairment in patients with diabetes. A reported 75,000 new cases of macular edema are diagnosed annually. This may be due to functional damage and necrosis of retinal capillaries.

Clinically significant macular edema is defined as any of the following:

  • Retinal thickening located 500 μm or less from the center of the foveal avascular zone (FAZ)

  • Hard exudates with retinal thickening 500 µm or less from the center of the FAZ

  • Retinal thickening 1 disc area or larger in size located within 1 disc diameter of the FAZ

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!