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Pegaptanib sodium treatment in neovascular age-related macular degeneration: clinical experience in Germany

Authors Feucht N, Matthias H, Lohmann CP, Maier M

Published 6 June 2008 Volume 2008:2(2) Pages 253—259


Nikolaus Feucht, Huebner Matthias, Chris P Lohmann, Mathias Maier

Augenklinik rechts der Isar, Technical University Munich, Germany

Background: The VEGF Inhibition Study In Ocular Neovascularisation (VISION) reported the efficacy of intravitreal (ITV) vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibition with pegaptanib sodium (Macugen®) for the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This paper reports clinical experience with pegaptanib sodium for the treatment of occult or minimally classic choroidal neovascularization (CNV) due to AMD.

Material and methods: The study included 50 eyes (in 49 patients) with either occult CNV or minimally classic CNV secondary to neovascular AMD who were not eligible for photodynamic therapy (PDT). Study data were analyzed retrospectively. During the 6-month study, patients were administered an average 2.74 injections of 0.3 mg ITV pegaptanib sodium. Angiography and optical coherence tomography (OCT) examinations were carried out and intraocular pressure (IOP) and visual acuity (VA) were measured at baseline, at 3 months and at 6 months. An eye examination was performed and VA was measured the 2 days following treatment and then again at weeks 4–6, and at 3 and 6 months. OCT, VA, and IOP were also assessed at 1 month.

Results: ITV pegaptanib sodium was well tolerated and no treatment complications arose. Mean VA was measured as: 0.37 ± 0.24 at baseline; 0.37 ± 0.25 at 1 month; 0.37 ± 0.25 at 3 months and 0.40 ± 0.26 at 6 months. VA was stabilized in approximately 90% of eyes treated with pegaptanib sodium. OCT examination showed a minimal change in central retinal thickness (CRT) during the course of the study, from 251.19 µm at baseline to 251.63 µm at 6 months. No elevation in IOP was measured during treatment at 4–6 months in patients receiving pegaptanib sodium.

Conclusions: ITV therapy with pegaptanib sodium for occult and minimally classic CNV secondary to neovascular AMD offered good efficacy with a favorable adverse events profile. The majority of patients showed stabilization in all assessed parameters. In clinical practice, careful consideration should be given to the use of nonselective VEGF inhibition in patients with a high cardiovascular risk profile or in those with a history of thromboembolic events.

Keywords: Intravitreal (ITV) injection, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), choroidal neovascularization (CNV), anti-VEGF therapy, pegaptanib sodium

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