Purpose: To report the short-term anatomic and visual acuity response after intravitreal injection of bevacizumab (Avastin, Genentech) in patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy complicated by vitreous hemorrhage.
Methods: Two patients with vitreous hemorrhage due to proliferative diabetic retinopathy were treated with at least one intravitreal injection of bevacizumab 1.25 mg in 0.05 mL. The patients underwent Snellen visual acuity testing, ophthalmoscopic examination, and fluorescein angiography at baseline and follow-up visits.
Results: Both patients had proliferative diabetic retinopathy with vitreous hemorrhage extensive enough to preclude panretinal photocoagulation. Following intravitreal injection of bevacizumab both patients experienced improvement in visual acuity starting within the first week. At 1 month of follow-up one patient had 2 lines of improvement in visual acuity and the other 5 lines. Each patient had regression of retinal neovascularization at 1 month of follow-up. Repeat injection was given to one patient at the 1-month follow-up because of slight leakage from neovascularization on the nerve, and to the other patient at 3 months because the retinal neovascularization showed early signs of reperfusion. The vitreous hemorrhage in each patient showed partial resolution at 1 week and nearly complete regression at 1 month. No adverse events were observed in either patient.
Conclusions: Initial treatment results of patients with vitreous hemorrhage and proliferative diabetic retinopathy did not reveal any short-term safety concerns. Intravitreal bevacizumab resulted in marked regression of neovascularization and rapid resolution of vitreous hemorrhage. The favorable short-term results suggest further study is needed in a larger group of patients.