Bevacizumab Offers Lasting Improvement in Macular Edema

(HealthDay News) – At two years of follow-up, diabetes-related clinically significant macular edema (CSME) is more effectively improved by intravitreous bevacizumab than with macular laser therapy (MLT).

Ranjan Rajendram, MD, of Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, and colleagues randomized 80 patients with center-involving CSME and visual acuity of 20/40 to 20/320 to receive either bevacizumab or MLT. The outcomes were reported at two years.

At two years, the researchers found that the mean Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) best-corrected visual acuity was significantly better in the bevacizumab arm than the MLT arm (64.4 vs. 54.8; P=0.005). The bevacizumab arm gained significantly more ETDRS letters than the MLT arm (median of 9 vs. 2.5; mean gain of 8.6 vs. mean loss of 0.5). At least 10 letters were gained by 49% and at least 15 by 32% in the bevacizumab arm, compared with 7 and 4%, respectively, in the MLT arm. Central macular thickness was reduced by a mean 146µm in the bevacizumab arm, compared with 118µm in the MLT arm. The bevacizumab group received a median of 13 treatments over the 24 months, while the MLT group received four.

“This study provides evidence supporting longer-term use of intravitreous bevacizumab for persistent center-involving CSME,” the authors write.

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