Pegaptanib Reduces Foveal Thickness in Macular Edema

Concomitant improvement in visual acuity, macular sensitivity, color discrimination in diabetes

FRIDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Intravitreally administered injections of the selective vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-165 inhibitor pegaptanib significantly reduces foveal thickness and improves visual acuity in patients with diabetes and macular edema, according to a study published online April 5 in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Michele Rinaldi, M.D., of Seconda Universita degli Studi di Napoli in Italy, and colleagues conducted a nonrandomized, longitudinal study involving 30 eyes of 30 patients with diabetes and clinically significant macular edema. The patients were treated with a series of three intravitreal pegaptanib sodium (IVP) injections at baseline, week six, and week 12. Participants were followed for 48 weeks.

The researchers found that, following IVP injections, there was a significant decrease in foveal thickness (decrease of 56.9 percent from baseline). Best-corrected visual acuity, macular sensitivity, and color discrimination were all statistically significantly improved from baseline. Significant associations were seen between foveal thickness and best corrected visual acuity, as well as macular sensitivity and color discrimination. There were no reports of ocular or systemic adverse events.

"Ocular and systemic adverse effects of pegaptanib are potentially minimized compared with those of the other VEGF-A blockers, such as ranibizumab and bevacizumab, and this is particularly important in diabetic patients who may have an underlying increased risk for systemic vascular events such as stroke and myocardial infarction," the authors write.

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