BOSTON — No differences in type or anatomic distribution of strokes were seen in patients who received intravitreal anti-VEGF injections compared with patients with similar disease processes who did not receive anti-VEGF injections, according to a study presented at the American Society of Retina Specialists meeting here.
Sophie J. Bakri, MD, presented a retrospective review of patient records in the Rochester Epidemiology Project, a validated health care database of patients in Olmsted County, Minnesota. The study looked at location and types of strokes, both hemorrhagic and ischemic, in patients receiving anti-VEGFs to help address the “conflicting data regarding whether there is an association between intravitreal anti-VEGF and stroke.”
A total of 690 patients in the study group were identified as having received one or more intravitreal anti-VEGF injections for age-related macular degeneration, diabetic macular edema, proliferative diabetic retinopathy or retinal vein occlusion, and follow-up of at least 2 years.
“In general now, trials that are performed for the approval of a new drug do not have a control group of patients not receiving anti-VEGF,” Bakri said. This study compiled two age- and sex-matched control groups that included patients who had not received anti-VEGF injections, either in the era before anti-VEGF treatment, from 1990 to 2003, or in a concurrent cohort from 2004 to 2013.
In the study group, 38 patients had a stroke, whereas 92 patients in the early control group and 27 in the concurrent control group had a stroke. Of strokes in the study group that could be characterized, 27 were ischemic, six were embolic, and five were hemorrhagic.
“What the results showed us was that there was no difference in any of the groups between distribution of stroke or the type of stroke suffered between patients,” Bakri said. – by Patricia Nale, ELS
Bakri SJ. Types of strokes seen in patients receiving intravitreal anti-VEGF injections: A case-control study. Presented at: American Society of Retina Specialists annual meeting; Aug. 11-15, 2017; Boston.
Bakri reports no relevant financial disclosures.