Background: This study examines the changes in short-term intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients receiving intravitreally administered bevacizumab. A prospective series of consecutive patients undergoing injection of intravitreal bevacizumab was investigated.
Methods: All patients received bevacizumab (0.05 cc) injected intravitreally in a standard fashion. IOP was measured at baseline, 2, 5, and 30 minutes after injection by 1 of 2 observers using Goldman applanation tonometry. An intraobserver study was done to assess agreement in IOP measurements.
Results: We accrued 104 patients with a mean age of 76 years: 58% were female, and 42% were male. Most patients (85%) were being treated for neovascular age-related macular degeneration. The mean IOP values at baseline, 2, 5, and 30 minutes after injection were 14.0 (95% confidence interval [CI] 13.4-14.7) mm Hg, 36.1 (95% CI 33.5-38.6) mm Hg, 25.7 (95% CI 23.8-27.5) mm Hg, and 15.5 (95% CI 12.4-16.51) mm Hg, respectively. Three patients (2.9%) had an IOP of 25 mm Hg or higher at 30 minutes. IOP normalized within 2 hours without medical therapy in 2 of these patients, and 1 patient required a 1-week course of glaucoma medication. Regression analysis showed a trend towards phakic patients having higher IOP at 30 minutes (odds ratio = 3.2; p = 0.089).
Interpretation: Intravitreal injection of bevacizumab is safe with respect to short-term IOP changes, as almost all patients' IOP returned to a safe range (<25 mm Hg) within 30 minutes. Elevated IOP at 30 minutes after injection does occur, rarely, thus clinicians should consider checking IOP after injection as a precaution. Transient extreme IOP elevations occur in a significant percentage of patients, but the consequences of these events are unknown.