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Visual improvement following intravitreal bevacizumab (Avastin) in exudative age-related macular degeneration.

Retina 2006 November
PURPOSE: To study the visual and anatomic outcome of intravitreal bevacizumab injection in the treatment of exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

METHODS: Retrospective review of patients who received one or more intravitreal bevacizumab injections for exudative AMD. Outcome measures include standardized visual acuity, optical coherence tomography (OCT), macular thickness and volume, intraocular pressure, and blood pressure at 24 or more weeks follow-up.

RESULTS: Fifty eyes of 48 patients were identified. Patients were observed for a median length of follow-up of 34 weeks (range, 24-50 weeks). Thirty-six eyes (72%) had prior treatment with pegaptanib (Macugen) and/or photodynamic therapy (PDT) and 14 eyes (28%) were treatment-naive. Mean visual acuity increased by 6.5 letters (P < 0.01) at 4 weeks and 5.3 letters (P < 0.01) at 24 weeks after initial bevacizumab injection. At 24 weeks, naive eyes had a mean increase of 14.2 letters (P < 0.001) and previously treated eyes had a mean increase of 2.8 letters (P = 0.06). Overall, mean OCT macular thickness and volume decreased by 73 micro m (P < 0.001) and 1.0 mm3 (P < 0.001) respectively at last follow-up. At last follow-up, all eyes received an average of 3.5 injections and experienced an average of 1.08 recurrences. There was no incidence of severe vision loss or adverse effect.

CONCLUSION: Intravitreal bevacizumab has the potential for improvement in vision in both naive and previously treated eyes for at least 6 months. The benefit is more pronounced in eyes without prior pegaptanib and/or PDT.

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