Chancen und risiken der anti-VEGF-therapie

Translated title of the contribution: Chances and risks of anti-VEGF therapy

Focke Ziemssen*, P. Heiduschka, S. Peters, S. Grisanti, U. Schraermeyer

*Corresponding author for this work
10 Citations (Scopus)


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) plays a pivotal role in angiogenesis. Through regulation of haemodynamics, haematopoesis and the immune system, endocrinology and reparative processes, inhibition of VEGF can cause multiple adverse events. Previous data suggest that - even after intravitreal injection - systemic exposure might occur, thus bearing the risk of manifestation of side effects. Experience with intravenous administration of the antibody bevacizumab (Avastin®) pointed to the potential consequences of a pan-VEGF blockade. The change of haemodynamic parameters implies a potential influence on the patient's morbidity. Studies already conducted during the approval process do not provide sufficient statistical power when evaluating whether systemic events significantly differ between the treatment and control groups. Retinal perfusion showed an altered vascular tone (change in vessel diameter) following anti-VEGF treatment. Physiological fenestration of the choroicapillaris is significantly reduced. Possible effects on the local oxygen supply in ischaemic tissue have to be considered. In contrast to destructive treatment modalities (laser, cryo), VEGF inhibitors promise the prompt and efficient response of retinal neovascularisation and the preservation of a better function (visual fields). The maturation of growing vessels (pericytes) and the secondary formation of membranes are limiting factors with regard to the time-point at which anti-VEGF therapy is most effective. A diligent use of the available drugs has to take into account which types of exudative retinopathy are showing no or only very limited response to the treatment.

Translated title of the contributionChances and risks of anti-VEGF therapy
Original languageGerman
JournalKlinische Monatsblatter fur Augenheilkunde
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)770-778
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 09.2008


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