Low- and Very Low-Dose Bevacizumab for Retinopathy of Prematurity: Reactivations, Additional Treatments, and 12-Month Outcomes


Freedman SF, Hercinovic A, Wallace DK, Kraker RT, Li Z, Bhatt AR, Boente CS, Crouch ER, Hubbard BG, Rogers DL, Vanderveen D, Yang MB, Cheung NL, Cotter SA, Holmes JM, Holmes JM. Low- and Very Low-Dose Bevacizumab for Retinopathy of Prematurity: Reactivations, Additional Treatments, and 12-Month Outcomes. Ophthalmology 2022;129(10):1120-1128.

Date Published:

2022 10


PURPOSE: Low-dose and very low-dose intravitreal bevacizumab (IVB) have been reported to be successful in short-term treatment of type 1 retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), down to an initial dose of 0.004 mg. We now report 12-month outcomes for these infants. DESIGN: Masked, multicenter, dose de-escalation study. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred twenty prematurely born infants with type 1 ROP. METHODS: A cohort of 120 infants with type 1 ROP in at least 1 eye from 2 sequential dose de-escalation studies of low-dose IVB (0.25 mg, 0.125 mg, 0.063 mg, and 0.031 mg) or very low-dose IVB (0.016 mg, 0.008 mg, 0.004 mg, and 0.002 mg) to the study eye; the fellow eye (if also type 1) received 1 dose level higher of IVB. After primary success or failure at 4 weeks, clinical management was at investigator discretion, including all additional treatment. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Reactivation of severe ROP by 6 months corrected age, additional treatments, retinal and other ocular structural outcomes, and refractive error at 12 months corrected age. RESULTS: Sixty-two of 113 study eyes (55%) and 55 of 98 fellow eyes (56%) received additional treatment. Of the study eyes, 31 (27%) received additional ROP treatment, and 31 (27%) received prophylactic laser therapy for persistent avascular retina. No trend toward a higher risk of additional ROP treatment related to initial IVB doses was found. However, time to reactivation among study eyes was shorter in eyes that received very low-dose IVB (mean, 76.4 days) than in those that received low-dose IVB (mean, 85.7 days). At 12 months, poor retinal outcomes and anterior segment abnormalities both were uncommon (3% and 5%, respectively), optic atrophy was noted in 10%, median refraction was mildly myopic (-0.31 diopter), and strabismus was present in 29% of infants. CONCLUSIONS: Retinal structural outcomes were very good after low- and very low-dose IVB as initial treatment for type 1 ROP, although many eyes received additional treatment. The rate of reactivation of severe ROP was not associated with dose; however, a post hoc data-driven analysis suggested that reactivation was sooner with very low doses.

Last updated on 10/29/2022