Efficacy and safety of intravitreal bevacizumab for the treatment of retinopathy of prematurity: a single-center retrospective review

Saverio Frosini, Fabrizio Franco, Giulio Vicini*, Cristina Nicolosi, Gaia Varriale, Carlo Dani, Gianni Virgili, Fabrizio Giansanti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: The aim of this study is to report our experience in the management of type 1 retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) or aggressive posterior retinopathy of prematurity (APROP) in premature infants, who received intravitreal bevacizumab (IVB) injections either as first-line monotherapy or as rescue therapy following laser therapy. Methods: Single-center retrospective study on 37 patients (74 eyes) affected by sight-threatening ROP that underwent treatment either with IVB alone or laser photocoagulation followed by IVB at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Careggi University Hospital of Florence, between 2008 and 2015. Results: Seventeen patients were males (45.9%) and 20 were females (54.1%). The mean gestational age was 24 weeks and the mean birth weight was 610 g. Fifty-six eyes (75.7%) of 28 patients were diagnosed as type 1 ROP and 18 eyes (24.3%) of nine patients as APROP. Sixty-six eyes of 33 patients received IVB as first-line monotherapy, eight eyes of four patients were treated with IVB after laser photocoagulation treatment, as rescue therapy. The mean postmenstrual age at treatment was 33.9 weeks. All the patients received bilateral injections. None of the infants required repeat injections. The mean follow-up time was 59.6 months. All the patients achieved a good response to treatment, showing the regression of the proliferative phase and a complete peripheral retinal vascularization within 2 months from the injection of bevacizumab. One patient with a bilateral ROP had only a partial resolution of a vitreous hemorrhage in the left eye. The procedures were well tolerated without local or systemic adverse events during the follow-up. No infants showed recurrences. Ocular motility alterations appeared in four patients (10.8%), with the absence of stereopsis in six cases (16.20%). After treatment, spherical equivalent values in cycloplegic refraction ranged from −4.0 D to +5.0 D, with a mean value of +1.75 D. All the patients showed a normal neuropsychomotor development. Conclusion: Our study confirms the effectiveness and safety of IVB in the treatment of ROP, both as monotherapy and rescue therapy after laser photocoagulation, according to the published literature.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Early online date15 Sep 2020
Publication statusEarly online date - 15 Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • aggressive posterior ROP
  • intravitreal bevacizumab
  • Type 1 ROP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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