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Ranibizumab as adjuvant in the treatment of rubeosis iridis and neovascular glaucoma—results from a prospective interventional case series

Julia Lüke, Khaled Nassar, Matthias Lüke, Salvatore Grisanti
Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 2013, 251 (10): 2403-13

BACKGROUND: To evaluate the capability of adjuvant intraocular ranibizumab (Lucentis) injections in the treatment of rubeosis and intraocular pressure in patients with rubeosis and neovascular glaucoma.

METHODS: Ten eyes with rubeosis (R) and ten eyes with neovascular glaucoma (NVG) received Lucentis injections (ranibizumab 0.5 mg/0.05 ml) in this prospective, monocenter, 12-months, interventional case series. The primary efficacy outcome measure was the change of degree of iris rubeosis as documented by iris fluorescein angiography measured after 12 months. Secondary outcomes were intraocular pressure (IOP), best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA, logMAR), numbers of additional interventions or antiglaucoma medications administered after injection, the gonioscopic status of the anterior chamber angle, and central retinal thickness.

RESULTS: In the R group, 3.6 injections and in the NVG group 2.3 injections of Lucentis were administered. Additional treatments were photocoagulation (n = 19), cyclodestructive procedures (n = 9), cryopexy (n = 3), and vitrectomy (n = 1). The mean stage of rubeosis was 3.4 ± 0.7 in the R group and 3.6 ± 0.8 in the NVG group at baseline. At month 12, the rubeosis was almost resolved in the R group (0.1 ± 0.3, p < 0.001), and decreased significantly in the NVG group (0.7 ± 1.1, p < 0.001). In the NVG subgroup, mean IOP was 41.4 ± 13.4 mmHg at baseline, which decreased rapidly (18.2 ± 12.3, day-14, p = 0.005) and stabilized during the follow-up (15.6 ± 2.0 mmHg, p < 0.05). BCVA improved significantly in both groups (p < 0.05, at month 12).

CONCLUSIONS: Injection of 0.5 mg ranibizumab appears to be beneficial as an adjuvant treatment in neovascular glaucoma and rubeosis due to its anti-angiogenic properties and its ability to prevent establishment or progression of anterior chamber angle obstruction. Conventional therapeutic procedures addressing the retinal ischemia are still required in a stage-wise treatment approach.

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