To systematically study potential adverse events associated with the use of intraocular bevacizumab at a single medical center.
Retrospective study of all consecutive patients receiving intraocular bevacizumab injections at the Stanford University Department of Ophthalmology between November 15, 2005 and July 14, 2006. Bevacizumab was given for exudative age-related macular degeneration, retinal vascular occlusion, diabetic macular edema, neovascular glaucoma, and five other indications.
We analyzed medical records of 186 subjects (203 eyes) who received a total of 578 injections of 1.25 mg of bevacizumab. The average follow-up was approximately 6 months. Five eyes with exudative age-related macular degeneration developed retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) tears, all with preexisting RPE detachments. These five eyes represented 2.9% of all age-related macular degeneration eyes treated and 7% of the age-related macular degeneration eyes with preexisting RPE detachments at initiation of treatment. Other adverse events were rare and included retinal ischemia, subretinal hemorrhage, vitreous hemorrhage, ocular irritation or pain, worsened hypertension, and headache. No death or thromboembolic events were observed.
Intraocular bevacizumab appears to be well tolerated for the treatment of a variety of retinal and choroidal vascular diseases. RPE tears may occur when treating choroidal neovascularization, particularly in patients with preexisting RPE detachment.