Do Anti-VEGF Injections Increase the Risk of Stroke or Heart Attack?

October 14, 2010

Some have speculated that the anti-VEGF injections we give to macular degeneration patients may get into the bloodstream and have adverse vascular effects. According to a recently released retrospective study (appearing in the October 2010 issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology), using vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) blockers to treat neovascular age-related macular degeneration does not appear to increase the risk of serious cardiovascular events.

Specifically, patients who were treated with ranibizumab (Lucentis) had a significantly lower risk of death through one year than those treated with photodynamic therapy or pegaptanib (Macugen). Ranibizumab-treated patients also had a lower risk of MI than those treated with photodynamic therapy.

Patients treated off-label with bevacizumab (Avastin), carried risks of death, MI, stroke, and bleeding similar to those of patients treated with photodynamic therapy or pegaptanib.

Read more about the study on MedPage Today.




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