Background/aims: To compare retrospectively the incidence of arterial thromboembolic events (ATEs) in patients treated with bevacizumab or ranibizumab for exudative age-related macular degeneration.
Methods: Charts of 378 patients treated with at least 1 intravitreal injection of ranibizumab or bevacizumab were reviewed to calculate the incidence of ATEs. Only patients under monotherapy were analyzed.
Results: ATEs occurred in 15 patients: 12 (12/97) with bevacizumab (12.4%) and 3 (3/219) with ranibizumab (1.4%) - odds ratio 10.16; 95% confidence interval 2.80-36.93; p < 0.0001. ATEs in the bevacizumab and ranibizumab cohorts included stroke, myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, peripheral thromboembolic disease, transient ischemic attack, sudden death and lethal stroke.
Conclusion: In this series, bevacizumab raised the risk of ATEs when compared to ranibizumab. In an elderly population with multiple cardiovascular risk factors, the new ATEs may not be attributed exclusively to the intravitreal bevacizumab administration. These findings raise an issue that must be confirmed in randomized clinical trials.
Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.