The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy and safety of bevacizumab in the treatment of pterygium and to mainly explore its effects on recurrence rate and complications.
We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, and Cochrane Central Register from the inception to July 2013 for relevant randomized controlled trials that examined bevacizumab therapy for pterygium. Data concerning study design, patient characteristics, treatment, and outcomes were extracted. The methodological quality of the studies included was assessed using the Jadad score. Relative risk (RR) was calculated for recurrence rate and complications.
A total of 474 patients with 482 eyes in 9 randomized controlled trials were analyzed. The pooled estimate showed that bevacizumab had no statistically significant effect on preventing pterygium recurrence [RR 0.90, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.77–1.07, P = 0.23]. None of the subgroup analyses yielded significant results in favor of bevacizumab (surgery group: RR 0.77, 95% CI 0.50–1.18, P = 0.23; nonsurgery group: RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.86–1.11, P = 0.76; primary pterygium group: RR 0.82, 95% CI 0.53–1.26, P = 0.36; recurrent pterygium group: RR 0.95, 95% CI 0.82–1.09, P = 0.44). There were no statistically significant differences in the complications between the 2 groups (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.73–1.37, P = 1.00). However, the bevacizumab group was associated with a higher risk of developing subconjunctival hemorrhage (RR 3.34, 95% CI 1.07–10.43, P = 0.04).
Topical or subconjunctival bevacizumab was relatively safe and well tolerated, but it had no statistically significant effect on preventing pterygium recurrence. A large-scale trial with a suitable dosage and a longer follow-up would be required to rule out the possibility of any treatment benefit.