Outcomes after Intravitreal Bevacizumab versus Laser Photocoagulation for Retinopathy of Prematurity: A 5-Year Retrospective Analysis

Ophthalmology. 2015 May;122(5):1008-15. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2014.12.017. Epub 2015 Feb 14.


Purpose: To determine the relative effectiveness, major complications, and refractive errors associated with intravitreal bevacizumab (IVB) versus panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) to treat type 1 retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).

Design: Retrospective case series.

Participants: Consecutive infants with type 1 ROP who received either IVB or PRP and had at least 6 months of follow-up.

Methods: The data from infants treated with either IVB or PRP for type 1 ROP between 2008 and 2012 were recorded from 2 medical centers in Atlanta, Georgia.

Main outcome measures: Recurrence rate, complication rate, and refractive error.

Results: A total of 54 eyes (28 patients) with type 1 ROP were evaluated: 22 eyes (11 patients) received IVB, and 32 eyes (17 patients) received PRP. Among the 22 eyes treated with IVB, 16 eyes had zone I ROP and 6 eyes had posterior zone II ROP. The number of zone I and II ROP eyes treated with PRP were 5 and 27, respectively. Mean gestational age, birth weight, postmenstrual age at initial treatment, and follow-up period for the infants receiving IVB were 24.2 weeks, 668.1 g, 35.1 weeks, and 21.7 weeks, respectively, and for the infants receiving PRP, these were 24.8 weeks, 701.4 g, 36.1 weeks, and 34.5 weeks, respectively. Retinopathy of prematurity recurred in 3 (14%) of 22 IVB-treated eyes and in 1 (3%) of 32 PRP-treated eyes. Neither retinal detachment nor macular ectopia developed in any of the IVB-treated eyes. In PRP-treated eyes, retinal detachment developed in only 1 eye and macular ectopia developed in 5 eyes. Mean spherical equivalent and postgestational age at the last refraction for IVB-treated eyes were -2.4 diopters (D) and 22.4 months, respectively, and for PRP-treated eyes, these were -5.3 D and 37.1 months, respectively. Mean spherical equivalent for zone I ROP eyes treated with IVB and PRP were -3.7 D and -10.1 D, respectively, and for zone II ROP eyes, these were 0.6 D and -4.7 D, respectively.

Conclusions: Both IVB and PRP are effective treatment options for type 1 ROP with low complication rates. IVB was associated with less myopia than PRP, although longer follow-up was available for PRP.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use*
  • Bevacizumab
  • Birth Weight
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intraoperative Complications
  • Intravitreal Injections
  • Laser Coagulation*
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Refractive Errors / physiopathology
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / drug therapy
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / surgery
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / antagonists & inhibitors


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