The efficacy of intravitreal antivascular endothelial growth factor as primary treatment of retinopathy of prematurity: Experience from a tertiary hospital
Background. Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a vasoproliferative disease affecting premature babies and a major cause of blindness in childhood. Appropriate screening and treatment can prevent blindness.
Objective. To report on the efficacy of using antivascular endothelial growth factor (bevacizumab) as first-line therapy in ROP.
Methods. This was a retrospective analysis of patients with ROP treated at St John Eye Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa, over a 3-year period. Outcome measures were the clinical response to intravitreal bevacizumab (IVB) as well as the economic impact of IVB therapy.
Results. Twenty-three patients were treated for active ROP or type 1 disease, in 44 eyes. Two patients required treatment in one eye only. The mean birth weight of these patients was 1 074 g (range 810 - 1 480). Response to treatment outcome was available for 22 patients (43 eyes). The mean follow-up period was 9 months (range 1 - 18). Forty-one eyes (95.3%) showed complete regression or non-progression of the disease. Two eyes (one eye each in two patients) progressed to advanced disease. There were no short-term adverse events. A cost-effective model showed that IVB treatment was much more economical than laser therapy.
Conclusion. IVB is a safe and effective first-line treatment for ROP and should be considered in resource-limited centres.
Copyright remains in the Author’s name. The work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial Works License. Authors are required to complete and sign an Author Agreement form that outlines Author and Publisher rights and terms of publication. The Agreement form should be uploaded along with other submissions files and any submission will be considered incomplete without it [forthcoming].
Material submitted for publication in the SAMJ is accepted provided it has not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere. Please inform the editorial team if the main findings of your paper have been presented at a conference and published in abstract form, to avoid copyright infringement. The SAMJ does not hold itself responsible for statements made by the authors.
Previously published images
If an image/figure has been previously published, permission to reproduce or alter it must be obtained by the authors from the original publisher and the figure legend must give full credit to the original source. This credit should be accompanied by a letter indicating that permission to reproduce the image has been granted to the author/s. This letter should be uploaded as a supplementary file during submission.