Purpose: Bevacizumab (Avastin) is a monoclonal antibody which targets all isoforms of vascular endothelial growth factor A. Its potent anti-angiogenic effects have been shown to cause regression of neovascularization in proliferative diabetic retinopathy. The aim of this study is to investigate the role of Avastin as an adjunct to vitrectomy in the management of severe diabetic eye disease.
Methods: Sixteen patients (18 eyes) with severe proliferative diabetic retinopathy were recruited into the study. All eyes underwent a single intravitreal injection of bevacizumab 1.25 mg in 0.05 mL prior to vitrectomy surgery for the management of tractional retinal detachment or vitreous haemorrhage due to severe proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
Results: At 3 months, seven eyes had visual acuities which were better than baseline, four were unchanged and seven were worse. At 6 months, 14 eyes had visual acuities better than baseline, one was unchanged and three were worse. Seven of the 18 eyes (38.8%) had postoperative rebleeds, six of which required surgical washout.
Conclusion: Avastin improved the ease of the surgery in these complex eyes and the early results are encouraging. We have found it to be particularly useful in diabetic eyes with traction detachments of short duration in which there is still active neovascularization.