Purpose: To assess short-term trends and the need to monitor intraocular pressure (IOP) changes immediately after intravitreal injections of ranibizumab, bevacizumab, pegaptanib, and triamcinolone acetonide.
Design: Retrospective, interventional case series.
Methods: Charts of 213 consecutive injections to 120 eyes of 112 patients were reviewed. Pressures were measured before injection, immediately after injection (T0), and at five-minute intervals until IOP was less than 30 mm Hg. Optic nerve perfusion was assessed by testing for hand movement vision and by indirect ophthalmoscopic examination. Kaplan-Meier and Chi-square analyses of IOP after injections and correlation of IOP spikes to drug, needle bore size, injection volume, and history of glaucoma were performed.
Results: Mean preinjection IOP was 14 mm Hg (range, 7 to 22 mm Hg). Mean IOP at T0 was 44 mm Hg (range, 4 to 87 mm Hg). All but one eye had at least hand movement vision and a perfused optic nerve at T0. IOP was reduced to less than 30 mm Hg in 96% of injections by 15 minutes and in 100% by 30 minutes. Eyes with a history of glaucoma took longer to normalize the IOP (P = .002). Statistically significant IOP spikes were observed with a smaller needle bore size (P < .0001) and in eyes with a history of glaucoma (P = .001).
Conclusions: Elevations in IOP immediately after intravitreal injections are common, but are transient. Prolonged monitoring of IOP may not be necessary on the day of injection in most cases if hand movement vision, optic nerve perfusion, and lack of intraocular complications have been verified. However, cautious monitoring should be considered in select cases.