Corneal neovascularization

Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2001 Aug;12(4):242-9. doi: 10.1097/00055735-200108000-00002.


Corneal neovascularization (NV) is a sight-threatening condition usually associated with inflammatory or infectious disorders of the ocular surface. It has been shown in the field of cancer angiogenesis research that a balance exists between angiogenic factors (such as fibroblast growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor) and anti-angiogenic molecules (such as angiostatin, endostatin, or pigment epithelium derived factor) in the cornea. Several inflammatory, infectious, degenerative, and traumatic disorders are associated with corneal NV, in which the balance is tilted towards angiogenesis. The pathogenesis of corneal NV may be influenced by matrix metalloproteinases and other proteolytic enzymes. New medical and surgical treatments, including angiostatic steroids, nonsteroidal inflammatory agents, argon laser photocoagulation, and photodynamic therapy have been effective in animal models to inhibit corneal NV and transiently restore corneal "angiogenic privilege."

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiostatins
  • Animals
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Cornea / blood supply
  • Corneal Neovascularization* / etiology
  • Corneal Neovascularization* / metabolism
  • Corneal Neovascularization* / therapy
  • Endostatins
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Eye Proteins*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lymphokines / metabolism
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / metabolism
  • Nerve Growth Factors*
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • Plasminogen / metabolism
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Serpins / metabolism
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Endostatins
  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Eye Proteins
  • Lymphokines
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Proteins
  • Serpins
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
  • pigment epithelium-derived factor
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors
  • Angiostatins
  • Plasminogen
  • Collagen
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases