Background: Intravitreal injection (IVI) with administration of various pharmacological agents is a mainstay of treatment in ophthalmology for endopthalmitis, viral retinitis, age-related macular degeneration, cystoid macular edema, diabetic retinopathy, uveitis, vascular occlusions, and retinal detachment. The indications and therapeutic agents are reviewed in this study.
Methods: A search of the English, German, and Spanish language MEDLINE database was conducted. A total of 654 references spanning the period through early 2008 were individually evaluated.
Results: The advantage of the IVI technique is the ability to maximize intraocular levels of medications and to avoid the toxicities associated with systemic treatment. Intravitreal injection has been used to deliver several types of pharmacological agents into the vitreous cavity: antiinfective and antiinflammatory medications, immunomodulators, anticancer agents, gas, antivascular endothelial growth factor, and several others. The goal of this review is to provide a detailed description of the properties of numerous therapeutic agents that can be delivered through IVI, potential complications of the technique, and recommendations to avoid side effects.
Conclusion: The IVI technique is a valuable tool that can be tailored to the disease process of interest based on the pharmacological agent selected. This review provides the reader with a comprehensive summary of the IVI technique and its multitude of uses.