Intravitreal bevacizumab for treatment of diabetic macular edema

Jeong Won Seo, In Won Park
Korean Journal of Ophthalmology: KJO 2009, 23 (1): 17-22

PURPOSE: To evaluate the effect of intravitreal bevacizumab on visual function and retinal thickness in patients with diabetic macular edema (DME).

METHODS: Thirty eyes of twenty-eight patients (mean age, 57.9+/-13.8 years) with DME were included in this study. Complete ophthalmic examination, including determination of best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), stereoscopic biomicroscopy, and retinal thickness measurement by optical coherence tomography (OCT), was done at baseline and at each follow-up visit. All patients were treated with a 0.05 mL intravitreal injection containing 1.25 mg of bevacizumab.

RESULTS: All patients completed 3 months of follow-up with a mean follow-up period of 5.26+/-2.39 months. The mean BCVA at baseline was 0.73+/-0.36 logMAR, which significantly improved to 0.63+/-0.41 (p=0.02), 0.58+/-0.36 (p=0.003), and 0.61+/-0.40 logMAR (p=0.006) at 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months. Final BCVA analysis demonstrated that 15 eyes (50%) remained stable and 12 (40%) improved >or=2 lines on BCVA. The mean central retinal thickness was 498.96+/-123.99 microm at baseline and decreased to 359.06+/-105.97 (p<0.001), 334.40+/-121.76 (p<0.001), 421.40+/-192.76 microm (p=0.035) at 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months. No ocular toxicity or adverse effects were observed.

CONCLUSIONS: Intravitreal bevacizumab injection resulted in significant improvement in BCVA and central retinal thickness as early as 1 week after injection in patients with DME, and this beneficial effect persisted for up to 3 months. However, the slight reduction in this improvement at 3 months suggests that repeated bevacizumab injections might be necessary. To evaluate the long-term safety and efficacy, further prospective randomized controlled clinical trials will be needed.

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