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Forooghian, Farzin MD; Meleth, Annal D MD, MS; Cukras, Catherine MD, PhD; Chew, Emily Y MD; Wong, Wai T MD, PhD; Meyerle, Catherine B MD

doi: 10.1097/IAE.0b013e3181f04a35
Original Study

Purpose: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of finasteride, an inhibitor of dihydrotestosterone synthesis, in the treatment of chronic central serous chorioretinopathy.

Methods: Five patients with chronic central serous chorioretinopathy were prospectively enrolled in this pilot study. Patients were administered finasteride (5 mg) daily for 3 months, after which study medication was withheld and patients were observed for 3 months. Main outcome measures included best-corrected visual acuity, central subfield macular thickness, and subretinal fluid volume as assessed by optical coherence tomography. Serum dihydrotestosterone, serum testosterone, and urinary cortisol were also measured.

Results: There was no change in mean best-corrected visual acuity. Mean center-subfield macular thickness and subretinal fluid volume reached a nadir at 3 months and rose to levels that were below baseline by 6 months. The changes in both optical coherence tomography parameters paralleled those in serum dihydrotestosterone level. In four patients, center-subfield macular thickness and/or subretinal fluid volume increased after discontinuation of finasteride. In the remaining patient, both optical coherence tomography parameters normalized with finasteride and remained stable when the study medication was discontinued.

Conclusion: Finasteride may represent a novel medical treatment for chronic central serous chorioretinopathy. Larger controlled clinical trials are needed to further assess the efficacy of finasteride for the treatment of central serous chorioretinopathy.

Pilot study to evaluate finasteride for treatment of chronic central serous chorioretinopathy suggests efficacy and tolerability.

From the Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

Supported by the National Eye Institute Intramural Research Program.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Reprint requests: Catherine B. Meyerle, MD, Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Research, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Building 10, Magnuson Room 10s235, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892; e-mail:

© The Ophthalmic Communications Society, Inc.