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.
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