Ranibizumab for macular edema due to retinal vein occlusions: implication of VEGF as a critical stimulator
Mol Ther. 2008 Apr
Campochiaro PA, Hafiz G, Shah SM, Nguyen QD, Ying H, Do DV, Quinlan E, Zimmer-Galler I, Haller JA, Solomon SD, Sung JU, Hadi Y, Janjua KA, Jawed N, Choy DF, Arron JR.
Department of Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21287-9277, USA. email@example.com
Macular edema is a major cause of vision loss in patients with central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) or branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO). It is not clear how much of the edema is due to hydrodynamic changes from the obstruction and how much is due to chemical mediators. Patients with macular edema due to CRVO (n = 20) or BRVO (n = 20) were randomized to receive three monthly injections of 0.3 or 0.5 mg of ranibizumab. At the primary endpoint, month 3, the median improvement in letters read at 4 m was 17 in the 0.3-mg group and 14 in the 0.5-mg group for CRVO, and 10 and 18, respectively for the BRVO group. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) showed that compared to injections of 0.3 mg, injections of 0.5 mg of ranibizumab tended to cause more rapid reductions of central retinal thickening that lasted longer between injections, but in 3 months, excess central retinal thickening which is a quantitative assessment of the macular edema, was reduced by approximately 90% in all four treatment groups. There was no correlation between the amount of improvement and duration of disease or patient age at baseline, but there was some correlation between the aqueous vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) level at baseline and amount of improvement. These data indicate that excess production of VEGF in the retinas of patients with CRVO or BRVO is a major contributor to macular edema and suggest that additional studies investigating the efficacy of intraocular injections of ranibizumab are needed.