Treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration with pegaptanib and boosting with bevacizumab or ranibizumab as needed

Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging. Jul-Aug 2008;39(4):294-8. doi: 10.3928/15428877-20080701-05.


Background and objective: Neovascular age-related macular degeneration presents a therapeutic challenge. The efficacy of pegaptanib sodium, a selective inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor 165, was examined as a therapeutic mainstay combined with "as needed" boosts of nonselective vascular endothelial growth factor blockade with bevacizumab or ranibizumab.

Patients and methods: A retrospective chart review of outcomes of patients treated with pegaptanib and later boosted with bevacizumab or ranibizumab was conducted. Visual acuity, optical coherence tomography, and fluorescein angiography findings were recorded and assessed.

Results: During a mean follow-up of 12.1 months, an average of 7.8 injections of pegaptanib 0.3 mg, 1.4 injections of bevacizumab 1.25 mg, and 0.9 injections of ranibizumab 0.5 mg were administered to 17 eyes. In all, 47% of eyes gained 3 or more lines of visual acuity and 76% gained 0 or more lines.

Conclusion: Pegaptanib as a mainstay of neovascular age-related macular degeneration therapy with an occasional boost of bevacizumab or ranibizumab appears to be an effective treatment option.

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Aptamers, Nucleotide / therapeutic use*
  • Bevacizumab
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / drug therapy*
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / etiology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Injections
  • Macular Degeneration / complications
  • Macular Degeneration / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Ranibizumab
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Visual Acuity
  • Vitreous Body


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Aptamers, Nucleotide
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • pegaptanib
  • Bevacizumab
  • Ranibizumab