Efficacy and safety of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agents on corneal neovascularization: A meta-analysis

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BACKGROUND: Corneal neovascularization (CoNV) is the second major cause of blindness. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors, e.g., bevacizumab, have been used to prevent CoNV.

AIM: We conducted an updated systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials to examine the efficacy and safety of anti-VEGF in CoNV.

METHODS: A literature search was conducted using three electronic databases. Mean difference (MD), standard mean difference (SMD), and relative risk (RR) are used to estimate the effect size.

RESULTS: Nine randomized controlled and three non-randomized trials were obtained. The pooled results demonstrated a significant reduction of CoNV area/Length (SMD = -1.17, 95%CI: -1.58 to -0.75), best corrected visual acuity (MD = -0.54, 95%CI: -0.91 to -0.17), and graft rejection (RR = 0.44, 95%CI: 0.24 to 0.8) and failure (RR = 0.39, 95%CI: 0.19 to 0.78) rates in the anti-VEGF group than the placebo group. A non-significant reduction of the epithelial defect was also observed in the bevacizumab group compared with the placebo (RR = 0.56, 95%CI: 0.30 to 1.06). Compared with a placebo, the unsynthesizable trials also support that bevacizumab improves visual acuity, CoNV, graft rejection, and failure rates. Trials reporting other comparisons revealed the superiority of combined remedy with bevacizumab compared to other treatments in reducing CoNV.

CONCLUSION: Anti-VEGF agents, mainly bevacizumab, are an effective and safe treatment for CoNV of all causes and prevent corneal graft rejection and failure in corneal transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7337-7349
Number of pages13
JournalWorld Journal of Clinical Cases
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - Oct 26 2023


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