Are Intravitreal Injections of Lucentis Effective In Improving Macular Edema Caused by BRVO/CRVO?

October 14, 2009

As reported at the Retina Congress in New York, researchers have confirmed that intravitreal injections of Lucentis are effective in improving macular edema caused by branch retinal vein occlusions/central retinal vein occlusions.

In several centers across the country, similar results were found for each of two doses of Lucentis (ranibizumab).  Both visual improvement and a decrease in macular thickness were noted in this randomized trial.  Treatments included injections given monthly for 6 months versus sham.

Visual acuity improved by at least 15 letters for 2-3 times as many patients in the treatment (Lucentis) group versus sham.  Improvements were noted to occur as soon as one week after the first injection and were sustained through 6 months.

What does this mean?  This is very intriguing news.  Only recently did we here reports on the effectiveness of Ozurdex (Allergan) and its success treating macular edema in retinal vein occlusions.  Ozurdex releases a steroid.  If both Ozurdex and Lucentis are effective in treating macular edema due to RVO, could the mechanism be different and would there be a benefit to combined treatment? We also do not have any data regarding the development of neovascular disease.

Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Retina Specialist




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