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Thulliez M, Angoulvant D, Le Lez ML, et al. Cardiovascular Events and Bleeding Risk Associated With Intravitreal Antivascular Endothelial Growth Factor Monoclonal Antibodies: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2014;132(11):1317–1326. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2014.2333
Few data exist regarding the systemic safety of intravitreal antivascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) monoclonal antibody (mAb).
To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the risk of major cardiovascular and nonocular hemorrhagic events in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetes mellitus–associated macular edema (DME), or retinal vein occlusions (RVOs) who receive intravitreal anti-VEGF mAbs.
The MEDLINE and Cochrane Central databases were searched for potentially eligible studies.
Randomized clinical trials comparing ranibizumab or bevacizumab with no anti-VEGF treatment, as well as those comparing ranibizumab with bevacizumab in patients with AMD, DME, or RVOs.
Data Extraction and Synthesis
We used a fixed-effects model and report the results as odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Primary end points were major cardiovascular and nonocular hemorrhagic events. Secondary end points were all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, stroke, myocardial infarction, venous thromboembolic events (VTEs), and hypertension.
Twenty-one trials that evaluated 9557 patients were retrieved. Anti-VEGF mAbs did not significantly increase the risk of major cardiovascular events (OR, 1.18; 95% CI, 0.81-1.71) or nonocular hemorrhagic events (OR, 1.42; 95% CI, 0.95-2.13) in treatment groups compared with control populations. Bevacizumab did not increase the risk of major cardiovascular events (OR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.59-1.52) or nonocular hemorrhagic events (OR, 2.56; 95% CI, 0.78-8.38) compared with ranibizumab, but significantly increased VTEs (OR, 3.45; 95% CI, 1.25-9.54). Subgroup analysis showed a significant increase of nonocular hemorrhagic events in patients with AMD in ranibizumab vs control trials (OR, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.01-2.44). Anti-VEGF mAbs did not significantly increase overall mortality, cardiovascular mortality, stroke, myocardial infarction, VTEs, or hypertension.
Conclusions and Relevance
We showed that intravitreal anti-VEGF-mAbs were not associated with significant increases in major cardiovascular or nonocular hemorrhagic events, but studies and meta-analyses were not powered enough to correctly assess these risks. Increased risks of VTEs with bevacizumab and nonocular hemorrhagic events in older patients with AMD with ranibizumab should be cautiously interpreted because more safety data are needed.
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