Intravitreal bevacizumab treatment for choroidal neovascularization in pathologic myopia: 12-month results

Magda Gharbiya, Francesca Allievi, Luigi Mazzeo, Corrado Balacco Gabrieli
American Journal of Ophthalmology 2009, 147 (1): 84-93.e1

PURPOSE: To evaluate the short-term efficacy and safety of intravitreal bevacizumab for the treatment of myopic choroidal neovascularization (CNV).

DESIGN: Prospective, nonrandomized, interventional case series.

METHODS: Twenty eyes from 20 patients with CNV secondary to pathologic myopia participated in this prospective nonrandomized interventional case series. All patients were scheduled for three monthly intravitreal bevacizumab 1.25 mg injections. Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), foveal center thickness (FCT) on optical coherence tomography (OCT), and fluorescein angiographic findings were examined before and after treatment. Patients were followed up for 12 months.

RESULTS: The mean BCVA (+/- standard deviation [SD]) at baseline was 24.8 (+/- 11.86) letters (Snellen equivalent: 20/80). At 12 months after treatment, the mean BCVA (+/- SD) improved significantly (P = .000001) to 43 (+/- 12.38) letters (Snellen equivalent: 20/35). At 12 month follow-up, BCVA improved 10 letters or more in 18 (90%) out of 20 treated eyes and improved 15 letters or more in 14 (70%) out of 20 treated eyes. No treated eyes experienced a worsening of BCVA from baseline. The mean FCT (+/- SD) at baseline was 223 (+/- 47.43) microns. At 12 months after treatment, the mean FCT (+/- SD) reduced to 206 (+/- 50.87) microns. This reduction in FCT after treatment was not statistically significant (P = .11). At 12 months follow-up, absence of fluorescein leakage from the CNV was demonstrated in 19 (95%) out of 20 treated eyes and persistent leakage in one eye (5%). None of the 19 eyes that had CNV closure experienced recurrence at 12-month follow-up. No ocular or systemic adverse effects from treatment were encountered.

CONCLUSION: These results of intravitreal bevacizumab in myopic CNV are very promising with no apparent short-term safety concerns. At 12 months, treated eyes had a significant improvement in visual acuity (VA). OCT findings, as well, showed a trend consistent with the beneficial changes observed for VA. Treatment resulted in complete absence of angiographic leakage in 95% of eyes. Further studies will be needed to better determine long-term efficacy and safety.

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