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.