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Evidence for Anti-VEGF Treatment of Diabetic Macular Edema

Bandello F.a · Berchicci L.a · La Spina C.a · Battaglia Parodi M.a · Iacono P.b
aDepartment of Ophthalmology, University Vita-Salute, Scientific Institute San Raffaele, Milan, and bFondazione G.B. Bietti per l’Oftalmologia, IRCCS, Rome, Italy Ophthalmic Res 2012;48(suppl 1):16–20 (DOI:10.1159/000339843)


Diabetic macular edema (DME) is the most important cause of vision loss in patients with diabetes mellitus. Diabetic retinopathy has a remarkable impact on public health and on the quality of life of diabetic patients and thus requires special consideration. The first line of treatment remains the management of systemic risk factors but is often insufficient in controlling DME and currently, laser retinal photocoagulation is considered the standard of care. However, laser treatment reduces the risk of moderate visual loss by approximately 50% without guaranteeing remarkable effects on visual improvement. For these reasons, new strategies in the treatment of DME have been studied, in particular the use of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) drugs. VEGF is a pluripotent growth factor that acts as a vasopermeability factor and an endothelial cell mitogen. For this reason, it represents an interesting candidate as a therapeutic target for the treatment of DME. The aim of this article is to review the evidence behind the use of anti-VEGF drugs in the treatment of DME.


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