gms | German Medical Science

21st Annual Meeting of the German Retina Society and 8th Symposium of the International Society of Ocular Trauma (ISOT)

German Retina Society
International Society of Ocular Trauma

19.06. - 22.06.2008, Würzburg

The use of anti-VEGF Inhibitors in wet AMD: balancing the risks

Meeting Abstract

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  • Ralf Blank - Rüsselsheim/Germany

Retinologische Gesellschaft. International Society of Ocular Trauma. 21. Jahrestagung der Retinologischen Gesellschaft gemeinsam mit dem 8. Symposium der International Society of Ocular Trauma. Würzburg, 19.-22.06.2008. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2008. DocISOTRG2008V113

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: June 18, 2008
Published with erratum: June 25, 2008

© 2008 Blank.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Two drugs that inhibit vascular endothelial growth factor have been improved for use in the treatment of choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Pegabtanib sodium (Macugen, OSI /Eytech and Pfizer New York) selectively inhibits the most biologically active isoform of VEGF, VEGF 165. Ranibizumab (Lucentis, Gentech, San Francisco) nonselectively targets all known isoforms of VEGF-A. Another VEGF-blocking drug, Bevacizumab (Avastin, Gentech) has also recently been used for treatment of CNV in AMD, although it was not developed for ocular use and has not been approved for that indication. Although VEGF inhibition is the goal of all these drugs as well as several other compounds in development for the treatment and prevention of CNV, it should not be forgotten that VEGF is an important compound for the normal function of the human body.Several epidemiologic studies have shown an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and cardiovascular events including stroke and myocardial infarction, in people with AMD. Given that systemic nonselective VEGF inhibition may be associated with an increased risk of thrombembolic events, and that repeated intravitreal delivery of VEGF inhibitors inevitably involves systemic exposure of these VEGF-blocking agents, it is important to consider the systemic safety of these ocular treatments in AMD patient population, especially over the long term.


The abstract of Ralf Blank was initially published with wrong title (Cardiovascular side effects of non selective VEGF inhibition) and text.