Risk analysis for patients with arterial thromboembolic events after intravitreal ranibizumab or aflibercept injections

Yun I. Chou, Hao Yun Chang, Meng Yin Lin, Ching Han Tseng, Tsung Jen Wang, I. Chan Lin

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Intravitreal anti–vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) agents have been increasingly applied in the treatment of retinal neovascular diseases. Concerns have arisen that these intravitreal agents may be associated with a potential risk of arterial thromboembolic (ATE) events. We conducted a retrospective, nationwide population‐based cohort study to analyze the risks for ATE events in patients receiving intravitreal ranibizumab (IVR) or intravitreal aflibercept (IVA). Data (2011–2018) were obtained from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database. Cox proportional-hazards model was used to identify the risk factors for ATEs. Of the total 3,469 patients, 1393 and 2076 patients received IVR and IVA, respectively. In our result, 38 ATEs occurred within 6 months after IVR or IVA. The risk of ATEs was lower in patients receiving IVR than in those receiving IVA (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 0.27; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.11–0.66). Patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) exhibited a higher risk of ATEs than did those without CAD (aHR, 3.47; 95% CI, 1.41–8.53). The risk of ATEs was higher in patients with an event of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) or ischemic stroke (IS) within 6 months prior to index IVI than in those without recent AMI/IS events (aHR, 23.8; 95% CI, 7.35–77.2 and IS: aHR, 290.2; 95% CI, 103.1–816.4). In conclusion, compared with IVA, IVR was associated with a lower risk of ATEs. When strategies for anti-VEGF agents are devised, risk factors, such as CAD and a history of AMI or IS within 6 months should be considered. Further large-scale studies are warranted to elucidate the safety of anti-VEGF injections.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7597
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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