Long-term effect of antiangiogenic therapy for retinopathy of prematurity up to 5 years of follow-up

Retina. 2013 Feb;33(2):329-38. doi: 10.1097/IAE.0b013e318275394a.


Purpose: To evaluate ocular function and systemic development in premature infants treated with intravitreal bevacizumab injections for retinopathy of prematurity over a period of 5 years.

Methods: A prospective, interventional, noncomparative case study. The primary outcome measure was visual acuity. The secondary outcomes were structural assessment, other ocular functional measurements, and developmental state.

Results: Eighteen eyes of 13 consecutive patients were divided into 3 groups: Group 1, Stage 4 unresponsive to previous conventional treatment (n = 4); Group 2, in which conventional treatment was difficult or impossible because of inadequate visualization of the retina (n = 5); and Group 3, newly diagnosed high-risk prethreshold or threshold retinopathy of prematurity (n = 9). All patients showed initial regression of neovascularization. One patient was diagnosed with recurrence of neovascularization and was treated with intravitreal bevacizumab. Visual acuity was preserved, and median vision was 20/25 (excluding 2 operated eyes). Twelve eyes developed mainly low myopia over the years, with an overall mean value of 3.2 diopters. Electroretinograph was normal in 4 eyes that had no previous detachment. One patient showed delay in growth and neurodevelopment, whereas all the others were within the normal range.

Conclusion: Five years of follow-up in a small series suggest that intravitreal bevacizumab for retinopathy of prematurity results in apparently preserved ocular function and systemic development.

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use*
  • Bevacizumab
  • Biometry
  • Birth Weight
  • Child, Preschool
  • Electroretinography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Intravitreal Injections
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Refraction, Ocular / physiology
  • Retinal Neovascularization / drug therapy
  • Retinal Neovascularization / physiopathology
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / classification
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / diagnosis
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / drug therapy*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Visual Acuity / physiology


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • VEGFA protein, human
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Bevacizumab