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F. Bucher, F. Bock, D. Hos, C. Cursiefen; Safety Profile Comparison Between Topical Pegaptanib (Macugen®), Bevacizumab (Avastin®) and Ranibizumab (Lucentis®). Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):2811.
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Aim of this study was to investigate whether topical application of pegaptanib, an aptamer blocking only the VEGF isoform 164, induces side effects compared to the common anti-angiogenic drugs which inihibit all VEGF-A isoforms. Therefore we analyzed the effect of pegaptanib on corneal epithelial wound healing and its short-term neurotoxic profile compared to the different so far available anti-angiogenic drugs bevacizumab and ranibizumab.
For analysis of corneal epithelial wound healing, a 1.5-mm circular corneal epithelial defect was generated. The treatment groups recieved pegaptanib, bevacizumab or ranibizumab while the control group recieved saline solution as eye drops (3µl; 5x each). The deepithelialized area was measured directly after debridement and after 18 and 24 hours. For analysis of nerve regeneration, again a 1.5-mm circular corneal epithelium defect was generated. The treatment groups recieved pegaptanib, bevacizumab or ranibizumab while the control group recieved saline solution as eye drops (3µl; 5x each). After 72 hours, corneas were removed and stained with anti-synaptophysin.
All treatment groups showed no delay in epithelial wound healing (p>0.05). In contrast, the nerve regeneration was significantly inhibited by bevacizumab and ranibizumab (p<0.01), while pegaptanib was comparable to the control group (p>0.05)
At least short term epithelial wound healing is not affected by the administration of the antiangiogenic drugs tested in this study. However, regarding the regeneration of corneal nerve fibers, pegaptanib seems to be superior compared to bevacizumab and ranibizumab.
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