This retrospective study was performed to classify diabetic macular edema (DME) based on the localization and area of the fluid and to investigate the relationship of the classification with visual acuity (VA). The fluid was visualized using en face optical coherence tomography (OCT) images constructed using swept-source OCT. A total of 128 eyes with DME were included. The retina was segmented into: Segment 1, mainly comprising the inner nuclear layer and outer plexiform layer, including Henle’s fiber layer; and Segment 2, mainly comprising the outer nuclear layer. DME was classified as: foveal cystoid space at Segment 1 and no fluid at Segment 2 (n = 24), parafoveal cystoid space at Segment 1 and no fluid at Segment 2 (n = 25), parafoveal cystoid space at Segment 1 and diffuse fluid at Segment 2 (n = 16), diffuse fluid at both segments (n = 37), and diffuse fluid at both segments with subretinal fluid (n = 26). Eyes with diffuse fluid at Segment 2 showed significantly poorer VA, higher ellipsoid zone disruption rates, and greater central subfield thickness than did those without fluid at Segment 2 (P < 0.001 for all). These results indicate the importance of the localization and area of the fluid for VA in DME.
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