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Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2014 Oct;252(10):1529-37. doi: 10.1007/s00417-014-2764-6. Epub 2014 Aug 22.

Bevacizumab and ranibizumab for neovascular age-related macular degeneration: an updated meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials.

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Service d'ophtalmologie, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Groupement Hospitalier Nord, Hôpital de la Croix-Rousse, 103 Grande Rue de la Croix-Rousse, F-69317, Lyon Cedex 04, France,



Neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the main cause of central vision loss among individuals aged 50 years or older in developed countries. The aim of this study was to review systematically the effect of bevacizumab compared to ranibizumab in patients with AMD at 1 year.


A systematic review was performed on Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Library and Trial registers to October 2013. Eligibility criteria for selecting studies were randomised controlled trials (RCT) comparing bevacizumab with ranibizumab in patients with neovascular AMD. Odds ratio (OR) and mean difference (MD) estimates were synthesized under fixed- and random-effects models. Heterogeneity was assessed using the Q statistic and I(2).


Five RCTs were included, representing 2,686 randomised patients. The meta-analysis confirmed the non-inferiority of bevacizumab compared to ranibizumab for change in visual acuity at 1 year (MD 0.57 letters, -1.80 to 0.66, p = 0.37, I(2) = 0 %). Better anatomical results were found for ranibizumab. Bevacizumab was associated with a 34 % increase in the number of patients with at least one serious systemic adverse event (OR 1.34, 1.08 to 1.66, p = 0.01, I(2) = 0 %).


The pooled evidence confirmed that, compared with ranibizumab, bevacizumab was associated with equivalent effects on visual acuity at 1 year and with a higher risk of systemic serious adverse events. The current available data do not show which types of adverse events occur more frequently. In practice, bevacizumab should be used under a risk-management plan until further studies have been carried out to assess accurately the increased risk of systemic adverse events.

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