(HealthDay News) – For patients with diabetes with clinically significant macular edema (CME), treatment with intravitreal pegaptanib sodium (Macugen), which selectively inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor-165 isoforms, is associated with significant morphological and functional changes, according to a study published in the December issue of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Michele Rinaldi, MD, of the Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli in Italy, and colleagues conducted an interventional, longitudinal, non-randomized study involving 30 eyes of 30 patients who were treated with intravitreal pegaptanib sodium for the management of macular edema. Participants were treated with three consecutive injections at baseline, Week Six, and Week 12, and were followed for up to 48 weeks after the injections. Morphological and functional changes were assessed.

Following intravitreal pegaptanib injections, the researchers observed a significant decrease of foveal thickness (FT), with a 56.9% mean reduction from baseline. In all patients there was a significant improvement of functional parameters: best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), macular sensitivity (MS), and color discrimination (CD). There was a significant correlation between FT and BCVA, as well as MS and CD. There were no reports of ocular or systemic adverse events.

“Intravitreal pegaptanib significantly reduced FT, with a concomitant improvement of MS and CD,” the authors write. “This association emphasizes the efficacy of intravitreal pegaptanib in the treatment of CME.”

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)