Background: To investigate the long-term effectiveness of intravitreal bevacizumab treatment in eyes with perfused macular edema due to branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO).
Methods: In this prospective interventional case series, 23 consecutive, previously untreated eyes with perfused macular edema were treated with intravitreal bevacizumab (1.25 mg) injections and followed for 1 year. The main outcome measures were visual acuity (VA) and central retinal thickness (CRT). In addition, VA data were adapted to the non-logarithmic VA charts used in the previously published grid laser photocoagulation BRVO Study.
Results: The median VA gained 3.0 lines from baseline at 48 weeks. This was accompanied by a significant decrease of 39% of the median CRT. The mean number of re-injections was 1.6 during the first 6 months of follow-up and only 0.8 during the subsequent 6 months. In 65% of the cases, adapted VA data showed a gain of 1 or more lines and no eye lost more than 1 line.
Conclusions: Repetitive intravitreal bevacizumab injections result in a significant long-term improvement of VA and CRT. The number of re-injections necessary to maintain this effect declined over time. However, the treatment seems to be only slightly better than grid laser photocoagulation.