Purpose: To report the short-term safety, biologic effect, and a possible mechanism of action of intravitreal bevacizumab in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Design: Interventional, consecutive, retrospective case series.
Participants: Eighty-one eyes of 79 patients with subfoveal neovascular AMD.
Methods: Patients received intravitreal bevacizumab (1.25 mg) on a monthly basis until macular edema, subretinal fluid (SRF), and/or pigment epithelial detachment (PED) resolved. Ophthalmic evaluations included nonstandardized Snellen visual acuity (VA), complete ophthalmic examination, fluorescein angiography, and optical coherence tomography (OCT).
Main outcome measures: Assessments of safety, changes in Snellen VA, OCT retinal thickness, and angiographic lesion characteristics were performed.
Results: No significant ocular or systemic side effects were observed. Most patients (55%) had a reduction of >10% of baseline retinal thickness at 1 week after the injection. At 4 weeks after injection, 30 of 81 eyes demonstrated complete resolution of retinal edema, SRF, and PEDs. Of the 51 eyes with 8 weeks' follow-up, 25 had complete resolution of retinal thickening, SRF, and PEDs. At 1, 4, 8,and 12 weeks, the mean retinal thickness of the central 1 mm was decreased by 61, 92, 89, and 67 mum, respectively (P<0.0001 for 1, 4, and 8 weeks and P<0.01 for 12 weeks). At 4 and 8 weeks, mean VA improved from 20/200 to 20/125 (P<0.0001). Median vision improved from 20/200 to 20/80(-) at 4 weeks and from 20/200 to 20/80 at 8 weeks.
Conclusions: Short-term results suggest that intravitreal bevacizumab (1.25 mg) is well tolerated and associated with improvement in VA, decreased retinal thickness by OCT, and reduction in angiographic leakage in most patients, the majority of whom had previous treatment with photodynamic therapy and/or pegaptanib. Further evaluation of intravitreal bevacizumab for the treatment of choroidal neovascularization is warranted.