JOURNAL ARTICLE

Intravitreal ranibizumab for the treatment of inflammatory choroidal neovascularization

Alexander Rouvas, Petros Petrou, Maria Douvali, Amalia Ntouraki, Ioannis Vergados, Ilias Georgalas, Nikolaos Markomichelakis
Retina 2011, 31 (5): 871-9
21358461

PURPOSE: To evaluate the effect of individualized repeated intravitreal injections of ranibizumab (Lucentis) on visual acuity and central foveal thickness in patients with choroidal neovascular membrane (CNV) associated with various ocular inflammatory clinical entities.

METHODS: Our study was a retrospective, noncomparative, interventional, and observational case series. Sixteen eyes of 15 consecutive patients diagnosed with inflammatory CNV treated with repeated intravitreal injections of ranibizumab were evaluated. The underlying diagnoses were toxoplasmosis (n = 4), serpiginous choroidopathy (n = 2), punctate inner choroidopathy (n = 5), multifocal choroiditis (MFC, n = 3), and scleroderma (n = 2). All patients underwent monthly optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans and fluorescein angiography/indocyanine green angiography every 1 month after every injection and then every 3 months. Optical coherence tomography scans and fluorescein angiography were performed by the same experienced physician. Repeated intravitreal injections were performed when persistent/recurrent fluid on OCT and/or signs of active CNV on angiography were present. Changes in Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study visual acuity and central foveal thickness were statistically analyzed.

RESULTS: The mean follow-up time was 70.4 ± 24 weeks (17.6 months; range, 44-116 weeks [11-29 months]). The mean number of injections performed was 2.3, and the mean best-corrected visual acuity improved from 55 Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study letters (logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution, 0.9 ± 0.4 [mean ± SD]) at baseline to 70.3 Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study letters (logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution, 0.6 ± 0.4) at the end of the follow-up, a statistically significant change compared with baseline (P < 0.0001). The mean letter gain was 15.3 letters, and best-corrected visual acuity improved in 14 of 16 patients (88%) and remained stable in 2 patients (12.5%) without any patient demonstrating deterioration. The mean central foveal thickness (although not excessively increased at baseline) improved from 285 ± 20 μm at baseline to 233 ± 21 μm (statistically significant compared with baseline, P < 0.0001) at the end of the follow-up. At the end of the follow-up, all patients demonstrated CNV regression, and retinal pigment epithelial atrophy surrounding the regressed CNV was developed in 11 of the 16 eyes (68.8%). During the same period, no CNV recurrence was observed and no injection-related complications such as cataract, retinal detachment, endophthalmitis, or exacerbation of uveitis were noted.

CONCLUSION: Overall, our findings suggest that intravitreal injections of ranibizumab have shown promising results in visual acuity improvement and a decrease in macular thickness in patients with inflammatory CNV. Of course, further studies are needed to confirm the exact benefit and standardize the optimal treatment regimen.

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