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Marion Funk, Katharina Kriechbaum, Franz Prager, Thomas Benesch, Michael Georgopoulos, Gerhard J. Zlabinger, Ursula Schmidt-Erfurth; Intraocular Concentrations of Growth Factors and Cytokines in Retinal Vein Occlusion and the Effect of Therapy with Bevacizumab. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(3):1025-1032. doi: 10.1167/iovs.08-2510.
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purpose. To investigate concentrations of growth factors and inflammatory cytokines in eyes with central (CRVO) and branch (BRVO) retinal vein occlusion before and during therapy with bevacizumab and to identify associations with disease activity.
methods. In a prospective clinical trial, 13 eyes of patients with CRVO (n = 5) or BRVO (n = 8) were included. Bevacizumab was administered intravitreously at baseline and months 1 and 2. Retreatments were given at monthly visits if OCT showed edema or when vision loss occurred. Aqueous humor samples were taken each time injections were performed. Follow-up was 15 months. Samples from patients with cataract served as the control. Multiplex bead assays were used for measurement of 28 growth factors and cytokines.
results. During therapy with bevacizumab, VEGF levels were reduced to below detection in the first 2 months. Whenever criteria for retreatment were met, VEGF was measurable again. The decrease in VEGF was associated with a decrease in central retinal thickness (CRT) and improvement in visual acuity (VA). Significantly increased concentrations of VEGF, IL-6, IL-8, IP-10, MCP-1, and PDGF-AA were observed in aqueous humor samples of patients with CRVO compared with the control samples.
conclusions. VEGF levels were significantly elevated in patients with CRVO compared with control subjects. Intravitreal injections of bevacizumab resulted in a substantial decrease of VEGF under physiologic levels and remained low under the loading dose of three consecutive monthly retreatments. Macular edema was related to VEGF levels in the aqueous humor.
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