Giuseppe Giannaccare, Marco Pellegrini, Cristina Bovone, Rossella Spena, Carlotta Senni, Vincenzo Scorcia and Massimo Busin* Pages 1159 - 1180 ( 22 )
Background: Corneal neovascularization (CN) is a clue feature of different ocular pathological conditions and can lead to corneal edema and opacification with subsequent vision loss. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which plays a key role in new vessels formation, proliferation and migration, was found to be up-regulated in these conditions. Nowadays, it is possible to downregulate the angiogenic process by using anti-VEGF agents administered by different routes.
Objective: To evaluate the efficacy, safety and possible future directions of anti-VEGF agents used for the treatment of CNV owing to different aetiologies.
Methods: A computerized search of articles dealing with the topic of anti-VEGF therapy in CN was conducted in PubMed, Scopus and Medline electronic databases. The following key phrases were used: anti-VEGF agents, corneal neovascularization, bevacizumab, ranibizumab, vascular endothelial growth factor, angiogenesis.
Results: The use of anti-VEGF therapy in the treatment of CN reduced pathological vessel density without causing significant side effects. Various administration routes such as topical, subconjunctival and intrastromal ones are available, and the choice depends on patient and disease characteristics. Much more effectiveness is achieved in case of early administration before mature and wellestablished vessels take place. A combined approach between various drugs including anti-VEGF agents should be adopted in those cases at higher risk of neovascularization recurrence such as chronic long-standing diseases where ischemic and inflammatory stimuli are not definitively reversed.
Conclusion: The efficacy and safety of anti-VEGF agents support their adoption into the daily clinical practice for the management of CN.
Anti-VEGF, neovessels, cornea, bevacizumab, avastin, ranibizumab, corneal neovascularization, vascular endothelial growth factor.
Department of Ophthalmology, University Magna Graecia of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Ophthalmology Unit, University of Bologna, Bologna, Department of Ophthalmology, Ospedale Privato “Villa Igea”, Forli, Department of Ophthalmology, Ospedale Privato “Villa Igea”, Forli, Ophthalmology Unit, University of Bologna, Bologna, Department of Ophthalmology, University Magna Graecia of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Department of Ophthalmology, Ospedale Privato “Villa Igea”, Forli