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Effects and complications of bevacizumab use in patients with retinopathy of prematurity: a multicenter study in taiwan.

Ophthalmology 2011 January
PURPOSE: To investigate the effects and complications of the anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agent bevacizumab in the treatment of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in Taiwanese patients.

DESIGN: A multicenter, retrospective case series study.

PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-seven patients (49 eyes) from 4 medical centers across Taiwan.

METHODS: This study included patients receiving intravitreal injections of bevacizumab (IVB) (0.625 mg) for the treatment of ROP between 2007 and 2009 at 4 major medical centers in Taiwan. The effects and complications associated with this treatment were analyzed. Patients were followed for at least 6 months after bevacizumab injection.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Regression of ROP and the complications associated with the injection of bevacizumab.

RESULTS: Forty-nine eyes of 27 patients (18 male and 9 female) were included in the study. Mean gestational age and birth weight were 26.0 ± 2.4 weeks and 971.6 ± 589.6 g, respectively. There were 41 eyes (23 patients) with stage 3 ROP, 6 eyes (3 patients) with stage 4A ROP, and 2 eyes (1 patient) with stage 5 ROP. All of the eyes received only a single injection of IVB. The mean injection time was 36.8 ± 2.6 weeks postmenstrual age for eyes with stage 3 ROP. A total of 37 of 41 eyes (90%) with stage 3 ROP regressed after bevacizumab injection only. Four eyes (10%) required additional laser treatment to regress the ROP. Of 6 eyes (3 patients) with stage 4A ROP, 2 eyes (1 patient; 33%) regressed after bevacizumab injection and 4 eyes (67%) regressed after bevacizumab injection and subsequent vitrectomy. The 2 eyes with stage 5 ROP exhibited decreased vascular tortuosity after bevacizumab injection, but the retina failed to reattach after vitrectomy surgeries. Major complications included vitreous or pre-retinal hemorrhage in 4 eyes (8%) and transient vascular sheathing in 2 eyes (4%).

CONCLUSIONS: Bevacizumab injection seems effective and well tolerated in some cases of ROP, especially in stage 3 ROP. Ocular complications could result from the injection of bevacizumab in pediatric eyes.

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