Studies show that systemic corticosteroids contribute to central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC), yet many patients are still prescribed corticosteroids after a CSC diagnosis. Researchers conducted a retrospective claims-based analysis to study the frequency with which corticosteroids were prescribed before and after CSC diagnoses.

The researchers analyzed insurance beneficiaries with CSC diagnosed by an eye care provider between 2007 and 2015. A non-CSC comparison cohort was developed for a control group. The researchers compared corticosteroid prescriptions before and after CSC diagnoses and by provider type (OD or MD). They also examined the likelihood of receiving corticosteroids among CSC patients and the control group.

Almost 40% of 3,418 CSC patients identified were prescribed corticosteroids, compared with just 23% of the matched control group. More than 12% of CSC patients received steroids within a year pre-diagnosis and nearly 12% received steroids within one year post-diagnosis. Most patients receiving steroids were steroid-naïve. Oral prednisone was most often prescribed.

The researchers found that CSC patients were significantly less likely to be prescribed steroids at six months post-diagnoses, compared with the control, but they were significantly more likely to receive steroids by two years post-diagnosis. Prescribing patterns for steroids were similar among ODs and MDs.

The researchers concluded that there’s a disconnect between published literature and practice. “Our results suggest a need for greater communication and collaboration among providers to ensure clinical practice reflects evidence-based recommendations,” the researchers said.

Azad A, Zhou M, Afshar A, et al. Systemic corticosteroid use after central serous chorioretinopathy diagnosis. Ophthalmology. June 24, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].