BACKGROUND: Administering anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) by intraocular injection has been shown to have a safe systemic profile. Nevertheless, incidents of acute kidney injury following anti-VEGF injection have been reported. We assessed the long-term effect of multiple intravitreal anti-VEGF injections on measures of renal function in patients with diabetes including rate of change of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR).
METHODS: A retrospective review of patients receiving diabetic macular oedema (DMO) treatment was undertaken. Serum creatinine, ACR, number of intravitreal anti-VEGF injections and clinical characteristics were collected from electronic healthcare records (EHR). A co-efficient of eGFR and ACR change with time was calculated over a mean duration of 2.6 years. Regression modelling was used to assess variation in the number of anti-VEGF injections and change in eGFR and ACR.
RESULTS: The EHR of 85 patients with DMO (59% male, 78% type 2 diabetes mellitus [T2DM]) were reviewed. On average, 26.8 intravitreal anti-VEGF injections were given per patient over a mean duration of 31 months. No association between increasing number of anti-VEGF injections and rate of eGFR decline (beta = 0.04, 95% confidence intervals [CI]: - 0.02, 0.09; p = 0.22) or ACR change over time (beta = 0.02, CI: - 0.19, 0.23; p = 0.86) was detected, following adjustment for hypertension, cerebrovascular disease, T2DM, and medications taken.
CONCLUSION: Our data suggests regular long-term intravitreal VEGF inhibition does not significantly alter the rate of change in eGFR and/or ACR with increasing number of treatment injections.