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Ann Med. 2012 Feb;44(1):1-17. doi: 10.3109/07853890.2010.532150. Epub 2011 Feb 1.

Vascular endothelial growth factors in retinal and choroidal neovascular diseases.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio Campus, Kuopio, Finland.


Angiogenesis, or neovascularization, refers to development of new vessels from pre-existing vasculature. Retinal and choroidal neovascularization leads to oedema, haemorrhages, and fibrosis, causing visual impairment and blindness. In multiple studies, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been shown to be the most important factor in ocular angiogenesis. Recently discovered anti-VEGF treatments have revolutionized the therapy of neovascular diseases in the eye. These agents have been shown not just to stop the angiogenic process and maintain visual acuity but also improve vision in a great proportion of patients at least during a 2-year follow-up. However, there are also problems with these agents and their delivery regimens, and new therapeutic strategies are needed. This review summarizes the most important growth factors participating in the angiogenic process in the retina and the choroid, diseases where angiogenesis plays the most devastating part causing visual impairment, as well as current antiangiogenic treatments for these diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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