Click on the icon on the upper right hand side for the article by Michael Waisbourd, MD, Michaella Goldstein, MD and Anat Loewenstein, MD.
IMAJ 2011: 13: March: 141-146
Background: Intravitreal injections of the anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drugs bevacizumab (Avastin®) and ranibizumab (Lucentis®) became the mainstay of treatment for various retinal pathologies, but there is no consensus among ophthalmologists on the precise use of these drugs.
Objectives: To describe the current application of anti-VEGF drugs among retinal specialists in Israel.
Methods: A questionnaire was sent via email to all 62 members of the Israeli Society of Retinal Specialists. The survey included 34 questions on various aspects of the use of anti-VEGF drugs: diagnosis, treatment, follow-up of different retinal pathologies, and the measures taken for ensuring sterile administration of the intravitreal injections.
Results: Fifty members (80%) completed the survey. Most of them (56%) offered both bevacizumab and ranibizumab to their patients for age-related macular degeneration, but 70% were influenced by the patient’s socioeconomic status. Three consecutive monthly injections were usually recommended (58%) for the first 3 months, and treatment was extended as long as subretinal or intraretinal fluids persisted (57%). Over two-thirds (68%) switched the drugs after the 3-monthly series if the first one yielded no improvement in fluid status. The routine practice for intravitreal injection (> 80%) involved the wearing of sterile gloves, using an eyelid speculum, and administering povidone-iodine pretreatment and topical antibiotics after treatment.
Conclusions: Intravitreal VEGF administration varies widely among Israeli retinal specialists. The current survey is intended to assist Israeli ophthalmologists in establishing their own treatment strategy for patients with retinal pathologies.