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C. Cursiefen, F. Bock, T. Dietrich, B. Bachmann, C. Rummelt, U. Schlötzer-Schrehardt, F. E. Kruse; Safety Profile of Topical VEGF-Neutralization at the Cornea Using Bevacizumab Eye Drops in a Murine Model. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):1469.
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Bevacizumab (Avastin®) eye drops potently inhibit corneal angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. Purpose of this study was to analyze whether Bevacizumab eye drops and thereby neutralization of VEGF-A at the ocular surface affect normal corneal integrity or corneal epithelial wound healing in vivo.
Bevacizumab eye drops (5 mg/ml) were applied to normal murine corneas 5x/day for 7 and 14 days. Subsequently corneas were analyzed for morphological changes by light and electron microscopy. In a mouse model of corneal epithelial abrasion (central 1.8 mm2), we analyzed the effects of topically applied Bevacizumab on epithelial wound healing: the treatment group received Bevacizumab (5 mg/ml) as eye drops and the control group an equal volume of saline solution. After 12, 18 and 24 h corneas were photographed in vivo with and without fluorescein staining for morphometry. Afterwards the mice were sacrificed and eyes were removed for histology, immunohistochemistry with Ki67/DAPI and electronic microscopy.
Murine corneas treated with Bevacizumab eye drops did not show obvious corneal morphological changes at the light and electron microscopical level. Furthermore, Bevacizumab eye drops had no significant impact on the wound healing process after corneal epithelial injury.
Short-time topical application of Bevacizumab eye drops at the cornea and thereby neutralization of VEGF-A at the corneal surface does not have significant side-effects on corneal epithelial wound healing nor on normal corneal integrity. Therefore, short-term Bevacizumab eye drops seem to be a safe option to treat corneal neovascularisation even in the presence of epithelial defects.
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