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    Iodine may alleviate retinitis pigmentosa swelling


    Boston—Researchers from Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School, and Boston University School of Medicine have found that the extent of retinal swelling due to cystoid macular edema (CME) was inversely related to dietary iodine intake in patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP).

    The finding raises the possibility that an iodine supplement could help limit or reduce central foveal swelling in RP patients with CME, according to the researchers. Their results can be found online in the July issue of JAMA Ophthalmology.

    Previous research performed showed an inverse association between the presence of CME and reported iodine supplementation in patients with RP. This finding, along with physiology research by others, pointed to iodine as being worth investigating further.

    In this new experiment, the researchers performed a cross-sectional observational study of 212 non-smoking patients 18 to 69 years of age who were referred to Massachusetts Eye and Ear for RP with visual acuity of no worse than 20/200 in at least one eye. They then used optical coherence tomography to measure central foveal swelling due to CME in the patients. Total dietary intake of iodine was estimated from multiple spot urine samples collected at the patients’ home.

    Rose Schneider Krivich
    Rose is the content specialist for Medical Economics.

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