Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of intravitreal bevacizumab in proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) patients.
Methods: This interventional case series study included 15 eyes of 10 patients with bilateral PDR: 13 eyes with severe PDR and active new vessels (NV) and two eyes with recurrent vitreous haemorrhages. Study eyes received a single intravitreal injection of 1.25 mg (0.05 ml) bevacizumab. All eyes were followed up for 3 months, and eight of them for 9 months. Reinjection was performed in three eyes 4-6 months after the first injection. Study eyes were evaluated by fluorescein angiography at baseline, 1, 3 and 9 months. Quantitative planimetric analysis (QPA) of NV area was measured before and after treatment. All eyes received or completed panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) 1 month after the first injection.
Results: As early as at 1 month, all study eyes had a regression (paired t-test, P = 0.01) of QPA-estimated NV area. The eyes with recurrent vitreous haemorrhages had clearing of bleeding. These early effects were maintained at 3 months for all eyes and tended to be stable at 9 months. The fast and measurable efficacy of bevacizumab allowed a subsequent complete and safe PRP.
Conclusion: Intravitreal bevacizumab did not reveal any side-effects and was effective in the regression of NV areas and the resolution of vitreous haemorrhages. This approach is potentially useful in allowing (within a planned temporal window) a safe and efficient PRP to be performed while minimizing the risk of its complications.