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Postoperative subconjunctival bevacizumab injection as an adjunct to 5-fluorouracil in the management of scarring after trabeculectomy

Authors Freiberg F, Matlach J, Grehn F, Karl, Klink

Received 17 December 2012

Accepted for publication 12 March 2013

Published 20 June 2013 Volume 2013:7 Pages 1211—1217


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Florentina Joyce Freiberg,1 Juliane Matlach,1 Franz Grehn,1 Sabine Karl,2 Thomas Klink1

1Department of Ophthalmology, Julius Maximilian University, Wuerzburg, Germany; 2Institute of Mathematics, University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany

Purpose: Scarring after glaucoma filtering surgery remains the most frequent cause for bleb failure. The aim of this study was to assess if the postoperative injection of bevacizumab reduces the number of postoperative subconjunctival 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) injections. Further, the effect of bevacizumab as an adjunct to 5-FU on the intraocular pressure (IOP) outcome, bleb morphology, postoperative medications, and complications was evaluated.
Methods: Glaucoma patients (N = 61) who underwent trabeculectomy with mitomycin C were analyzed retrospectively (follow-up period of 25 ± 19 months). Surgery was performed exclusively by one experienced glaucoma specialist using a standardized technique. Patients in group 1 received subconjunctival applications of 5-FU postoperatively. Patients in group 2 received 5-FU and subconjunctival injection of bevacizumab.
Results: Group 1 had 6.4 ± 3.3 (0–15) (mean ± standard deviation and range, respectively) 5-FU injections. Group 2 had 4.0 ± 2.8 (0–12) (mean ± standard deviation and range, respectively) 5-FU injections. The added injection of bevacizumab significantly reduced the mean number of 5-FU injections by 2.4 ± 3.08 (P ≤ 0.005). There was no significantly lower IOP in group 2 when compared to group 1. A significant reduction in vascularization and in cork screw vessels could be found in both groups (P < 0.0001, 7 days to last 5-FU), yet there was no difference between the two groups at the last follow-up. Postoperative complications were significantly higher for both groups when more 5-FU injections were applied. (P = 0.008). No significant difference in best corrected visual acuity (P = 0.852) and visual field testing (P = 0.610) between preoperative to last follow-up could be found between the two groups.
Conclusion: The postoperative injection of bevacizumab reduced the number of subconjunctival 5-FU injections significantly by 2.4 injections. A significant difference in postoperative IOP reduction, bleb morphology, and postoperative medication was not detected.

Keywords: bevacizumab, 5-fluorouracil, glaucoma, trabeculectomy, bleb failure, bleb scarring

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