Published online Aug 12, 2015. doi: 10.5318/wjo.v5.i3.133
Peer-review started: December 2, 2014
First decision: February 7, 2015
Revised: May 24, 2015
Accepted: May 27, 2015
Article in press: May 28, 2015
Published online: August 12, 2015
Diabetic retinopathy is one of the prominent causes of vision impairment in the working-age population in industrialized countries and is related to 1%-5% of cases of blindness in the world. Among patients with diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema (DME) is the major reason of vision impairment and represents a significant public health problem. Previous studies demonstrated the role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in diabetic retinopathy and DME pathogenesis, and also revealed the efficacy of anti-VEGF agents for the management of these disorders. This review summarizes the outcomes of clinical studies that evaluated the anti-VEGF therapy including pegaptanib, ranibizumab, bevacizumab, and aflibercept for the management of DME. A significant number of clinical trials indicated favorable functional and anatomical results of anti-VEGF therapy for DME. Therefore, these agents should be considered an option in the treatment of DME in routine clinical practice.
Core tip: Diabetic retinopathy is one of the prominent reasons of vision loss in the industrial countries. Among these patients, diabetic macular edema (DME) is the main reason of vision impairment. Previous studies have shown that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has a major role in the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy and DME, as well as demonstrated favorable results for DME treatment. This review summarizes the outcomes of clinical trials that evaluated anti-VEGF agents including pegaptanib, ranibizumab, bevacizumab, and aflibercept in DME treatment.