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Keywords:

  • anti-VEGF therapy;
  • branch retinal vein occlusion;
  • central retinal vein occlusion;
  • intravitreous injection;
  • macular oedema;
  • ranibizumab

Abstract.

Purpose:  To evaluate the efficacy and the safety of intravitreal ranibizumab injection (Lucentis) in eyes with macular oedema secondary to central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) or branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO).

Methods:  The files of consecutive patients (34 eyes, 15 CRVO, 19 BRVO) were retrospectively analysed. Intravitreal injections of 0.5 mg ranibizumab were administered; retreatment was based on acuity visual changes and optical coherence tomography findings. Patients received 2–4 injections (mean, 2.1). Mean follow-up was 7 months.

Results:  After the first injection, mean best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) improved from 20/160 to 20/80 and mean central retinal thickness (CRT) decreased significantly from 549 to 301 μm (p < 0.01). For each injection, BCVA improvement was on average nine letters (p < 0.01) and macular oedema reduction was 195 μm CRT (p < 0.01). The decrease in CRT was similar in CRVO and BRVO, but the improvement in BCVA was larger in BRVO. No local or systemic adverse effect was detected. Final visual acuity was correlated to initial visual acuity and to visual acuity measured after the first injection. The change in CRT was correlated to the number of injections and to initial CRT.

Conclusion:  Intravitreal injections of ranibizumab appeared to be a safe and effective option in the treatment of macular oedema secondary to retinal vein occlusion. Nevertheless, because the natural course has demonstrated a possible improvement in vision in almost one quarter of affected eyes at 3 years, further controlled and prospective studies are necessary to compare this treatment to the natural course with a longer follow-up.