Background Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a proliferative disease of the retinal vasculature that can cause severe visual loss in premature newborns. Intravitreal bevacizumab has shown promise as a treatment for ROP.
Purpose To evaluate the efficacy and safety of intravitreal bevacizumab in preterm infants with retinopathy diagnosed with grades 1–3+.
Material and methods This was a retrospective study of 24 months’ duration involving patients less than 30 weeks’ gestational age diagnosed with ROP to grade 3+ and weighing <1500 g. Patients received a single dose of 0.625 mg intravitreal bevacizumab at 3 months post-gestational age and were followed-up every 7 days with fundus examination according to the protocol of the ophthalmology unit for assessment of the degree of retinopathy and extent of the avascular zone. The primary efficacy and safety variables were defined as: complete vascularisation (CV) in both eyes (BE) and the absence of adverse event grades CTCAE (Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events) II or higher, respectively.
Results 9 patients (6 men and 3 women) were included, with a mean gestational age of 25 weeks (23, 29). Previous diagnoses were: 2 patients with aggressive ROP in BE, 2 patients with grade 3 ROP in zone 2+ in BE, 1 patient with grade 2 ROP in zone 2+ in BE, 2 patients with grade 1 ROP in zone 2 in BE and zone 3 ROP in 1 patient and 1 patient with ROP in zone 3 in the right eye and temporal zone II ROP I festooned in the left eye. The primary efficacy criterion (CV in BE) was achieved in 7/9 cases, with an average time to BE and CV of 4 months (1, 6). Furthermore, in 5 patients, an early response was achieved in BE at week 4. During the study period, no endophthalmitis, retinal detachment or systemic side effects resulting in discontinuation of treatment occurred.
Conclusion This study shows that intravitreal bevacizumab was used effectively and safely in the treatment of variable degrees of ROP, achieving 85% CV.
References and/or acknowledgements To my pharmacist colleagues.
No conflict of interest
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