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Curr Pharm Des. 2019;25(2):184-189. doi: 10.2174/1381612825666190319165824.

Retinal and Choroidal Changes after Anti Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Therapy for Neovascular Age-related Macular Degeneration.

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1
Department of Ophthalmology, Ulsan University Hospital, University of Ulsan, College of Medicine, Ulsan, Korea.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate changes in retinal nerve fiber layer, ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer, and choroidal thickness in the macular area in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration who received repeated intravitreal ranibizumab and aflibercept treatments.

METHODS:

This retrospective study included 90 eyes of 90 treatment-naive patients. Fifty eyes were treated with intravitreal injections of aflibercept, and 40 were treated with intravitreal injections of ranibizumab. Unaffected fellow eyes (71 eyes) were used as controls. The dosage was one injection per month for 3 consecutive months as an initial treatment. The patients were examined monthly for 6 months following the initial injection. Additional intravitreal injections were given reactively in an optical coherence tomography-guided "pro re nata" protocol. Measurements of the retinal nerve fiber layer, ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer, full retina, and choroidal thickness were simultaneously obtained via swept-source optical coherence tomography in the nine Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study subfields.

RESULTS:

The retinal nerve fiber layer thickness in the nine Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study subfields did not differ significantly among the three study groups (aflibercept vs. ranibizumab vs. control). The ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer thickness was significantly reduced in the aflibercept group, while the choroidal thickness was reduced in both the aflibercept and ranibizumab groups.

CONCLUSION:

Excessive long-term vascular endothelial growth factor inhibition by an anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agent that is trapped by neuronal and retinal pigment epithelium cells may adversely affect the function of physiological vascular endothelial growth factor and harm retinal cells and vessels.

KEYWORDS:

Aflibercept; choroid; ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer; neovascular age-related macular degeneration; ranibizumab; vascular endothelial growth factor.

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