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Relationship between vascular endothelial growth factor and macular edema in retinal vein branch obstruction

Authors Okawada H, Saito Y, Iwabuchi S, Kosuge S, Takahashi H, Onda H, Kito M

Received 6 December 2017

Accepted for publication 20 February 2018

Published 7 August 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 1379—1382


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Hideaki Okawada, Yuta Saito, Shigehiro Iwabuchi, Shotaro Kosuge, Haruo Takahashi, Hidetoshi Onda, Masahiro Kito

Department of Ophthalmology, Showa University, Tokyo, Japan

Purpose: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) plays an important role in branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO) with cystoid macular edema (CME). Monitoring changes in VEGF is crucial for evaluating treatment but requires vitreous or aqueous humor sampling, which hampers its clinical application. We investigated the correlation between VEGF and protein concentration in the aqueous humor (flare) and whether this could be used to monitor treatment-related VEGF changes.
Design: This retrospective observational study involved 19 previously untreated patients with BRVO. Aqueous humor was obtained, and intravitreal ranibizumab (IVR) injection was administered to these patients. The correlation between VEGF and flare, central retinal thickness (CRT), and best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was investigated. Differences in these values were considered between pre-IVR and 1 week and 1–3 months post-IVR. Moreover, in patients with recurrence who received additional IVR, further changes in VEGF were examined.
Main outcome measures: The end point of this study was BCVA, flare, and CRT at the fovea.
Results: Significant improvement was seen in BCVA and CRT at all time points and in Flare at 1 vs 3 months post-IVR; nevertheless, additional IVR was necessary in 94% of cases. In a patient with recurrence, CRT did not improve, even though VEGF decreased.
Conclusion: Flare may be effective for estimating VEGF levels in aqueous humor pre-IVR. Inflammation-related molecules other than VEGF may be related to recurrence.

Keywords: aqueous humor, branch retinal vein occlusion, flare, protein density, ranibizumab, vascular endothelial growth factor

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