Current and emerging therapies for corneal neovascularization

Ocul Surf. 2018 Oct;16(4):398-414. doi: 10.1016/j.jtos.2018.06.004. Epub 2018 Jun 20.


The cornea is unique because of its complete avascularity. Corneal neovascularization (CNV) can result from a variety of etiologies including contact lens wear; corneal infections; and ocular surface diseases due to inflammation, chemical injury, and limbal stem cell deficiency. Management is focused primarily on the etiology and pathophysiology causing the CNV and involves medical and surgical options. Because inflammation is a key factor in the pathophysiology of CNV, corticosteroids and other anti-inflammatory medications remain the mainstay of treatment. Anti-VEGF therapies are gaining popularity to prevent CNV in a number of etiologies. Surgical options including vessel occlusion and ocular surface reconstruction are other options depending on etiology and response to medical therapy. Future therapies should provide more effective treatment options for the management of CNV.

Keywords: Angiogenesis; Cornea; Eye; Inflammation; Limbal stem cell deficiency; Neovascularization; Vascularization.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Corneal Neovascularization / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A