PURPOSE: To evaluate the safety, visual acuity changes, and morphologic effects associated with intravitreal bevacizumab injections for the management of macular edema due to ischemic central or hemicentral retinal vein occlusion (RVO). METHODS: In this prospective, open-label study, 7 consecutive patients (7 eyes) with macular edema associated with ischemic central or hemicentral RVO were treated with intravitreal injections of 2.0 mg (0.08 mL) of bevacizumab at 12-week intervals. Standardized ophthalmic evaluation was performed at baseline and at weeks 1, 6, and 12 after each injection. Clinical evidence of toxicity and complications as well as changes in logarithm of minimum angle of resolution Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), central macular thickness (CMT) and total macular volume (TMV) shown by optical coherence tomography (OCT), and dye leakage shown by fluorescein angiography were evaluated. RESULTS: The median age of the 7 patients was 65 years (range, 58-74 years), and the median duration of symptoms before injection was 7 months (range, 2.5-16 months). At baseline, mean BCVA was 1.21 (Snellen equivalent, ≈20/320) in the affected eye. Mean baseline CMT and TMV were 730.1 μm and 17.1 mm, respectively. Fluorescein leakage was observed in the macula and affected retinal quadrants in all seven eyes. Six patients completed the 25-week follow-up examination with reinjections performed at weeks 12 and 24. The most common adverse events were conjunctival hyperemia and subconjunctival hemorrhage at the injection site. At the last follow-up, mean BCVA in the affected eye was 0.68 (Snellen equivalent, 20/100). No patient had a decrease in BCVA. Mean CMT and TMV at the 25-week follow-up were 260.3 μm and 9.0 mm, respectively; fluorescein leakage within the macula and affected retinal quadrants as compared with baseline was markedly reduced in all patients. Coupled with fluorescein angiographic findings, OCT data suggest a trend of macular edema recurrence between 6 weeks and 12 weeks after injection. CONCLUSIONS: Intravitreal bevacizumab injections of 2.0 mg at 12-week intervals were well tolerated and were associated with short-term BCVA stabilization or improvement and favorable macular changes in all patients with ischemic RVO and associated macular edema.
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