Intravitreal ranibizumab monotherapy to treat retinopathy of prematurity zone II, stage 3 with plus disease

BMC Ophthalmol. 2015 Mar 8;15:20. doi: 10.1186/s12886-015-0001-7.


Background: Treatment of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) stage 3 plus with bevacizumab is still very controversial. We report the outcome of 6 eyes of 4 premature infants with ROP stage 3 plus disease treated with ranibizumab monotherapy.

Methods: Six eyes of 4 premature infants with threshold ROP 3 plus disease in zone II, were treated with one intravitreal injection of 0.03 ml ranibizumab. No prior laser or other intravitreal therapy was done. Fundus examination was performed prior to the intervention and at each follow-up visit. Changes in various mean vital parameters one week post intervention compared to one week pre-intervention were assessed.

Results: The gestational age (GA) of patient 1, 2, 3, and 4 at birth was 24 5/7, 24 5/7, 24 4/7, and 26 1/7 weeks, respectively. The birth weight was 500 grams, 450 grams, 665 grams, and 745 grams, respectively. The GA at the date of treatment ranged from 34 3/7 to 38 6/7 weeks. In one infant, upper air way infection was observed 2 days post injection of the second eye. Three eyes required paracentesis to reduce the intraocular pressure after injection and to restore central artery perfusion. After six months, all eyes showed complete retinal vascularisation without any signs of disease recurrence.

Conclusions: Treatment of ROP 3 plus disease with intravitreal ranibizumab was effective in all cases and should be considered for treatment. One infant developed an upper air way infection suspicious for nasopharyngitis, which might be a possible side effect of ranibizumab. Another frequent complication was intraocular pressure rise after injection. More patients with longer follow-up duration are mandatory to confirm the safety and efficacy of this treatment.

Trial registration number: NCT02164604; Date of registration: 13.06.2014.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Extremely Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Intravitreal Injections
  • Ranibizumab / therapeutic use*
  • Retinal Neovascularization / classification
  • Retinal Neovascularization / drug therapy*
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / classification
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / drug therapy*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • VEGFA protein, human
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Ranibizumab

Associated data