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      Widening use of dexamethasone implant for the treatment of macular edema

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          Abstract

          Sustained-release intravitreal 0.7 mg dexamethasone (DEX) implant is approved in Europe for the treatment of macular edema related to diabetic retinopathy, branch retinal vein occlusion, central retinal vein occlusion, and non-infectious uveitis. The implant is formulated in a biodegradable copolymer to release the active ingredient within the vitreous chamber for up to 6 months after an intravitreal injection, allowing a prolonged interval of efficacy between injections with a good safety profile. Various other ocular pathologies with inflammatory etiopathogeneses associated with macular edema have been treated by DEX implant, including neovascular age-related macular degeneration, Irvine–Gass syndrome, vasoproliferative retinal tumors, retinal telangiectasia, Coats’ disease, radiation maculopathy, retinitis pigmentosa, and macular edema secondary to scleral buckling and pars plana vitrectomy. We undertook a review to provide a comprehensive collection of all of the diseases that benefit from the use of the sustained-release DEX implant, alone or in combination with concomitant therapies. A MEDLINE search revealed lack of randomized controlled trials related to these indications. Therefore we included and analyzed all available studies (retrospective and prospective, comparative and non-comparative, randomized and nonrandomized, single center and multicenter, and case report). There are reports in the literature of the use of DEX implant across a range of macular edema-related pathologies, with their clinical experience supporting the use of DEX implant on a case-by-case basis with the aim of improving patient outcomes in many macular pathologies. As many of the reported macular pathologies are difficult to treat, a new treatment option that has a beneficial influence on the clinical course of the disease may be useful in clinical practice.

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          Most cited references 70

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          Dexamethasone intravitreal implant in patients with macular edema related to branch or central retinal vein occlusion twelve-month study results.

          To evaluate the safety and efficacy of 1 or 2 treatments with dexamethasone intravitreal implant (DEX implant) over 12 months in eyes with macular edema owing to branch or central retinal vein occlusion (BRVO or CRVO). Two identical, multicenter, prospective studies included a randomized, 6-month, double-masked, sham-controlled phase followed by a 6-month open-label extension. We included 1256 patients with vision loss owing to macular edema associated with BRVO or CRVO. At baseline, patients received DEX implant 0.7 mg (n = 421), DEX implant 0.35 mg (n = 412), or sham (n = 423) in the study eye. At day 180, patients could receive DEX implant 0.7 mg if best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was 250 μm. The primary outcome for the open-label extension was safety; BCVA was also evaluated. At day 180, 997 patients received open-label DEX implant. Except for cataract, the incidence of ocular adverse events was similar in patients who received their first or second DEX implant. Over 12 months, cataract progression occurred in 90 of 302 phakic eyes (29.8%) that received 2 DEX implant 0.7 mg injections versus 5 of 88 sham-treated phakic eyes (5.7%); cataract surgery was performed in 4 of 302 (1.3%) and 1 of 88 (1.1%) eyes, respectively. In the group receiving two 0.7-mg DEX implants (n = 341), a ≥ 10-mmHg intraocular pressure (IOP) increase from baseline was observed in (12.6% after the first treatment, and 15.4% after the second). The IOP increases were usually transient and controlled with medication or observation; an additional 10.3% of patients initiated IOP-lowering medications after the second treatment. A ≥ 15-letter improvement in BCVA from baseline was achieved by 30% and 32% of patients 60 days after the first and second DEX implant, respectively. Among patients with macular edema owing to BRVO or CRVO, single and repeated treatment with DEX implant had a favorable safety profile over 12 months. In patients who qualified for and received 2 DEX implant injections, the efficacy and safety of the 2 implants were similar with the exception of cataract progression. Proprietary or commercial disclosure may be found after the references. Copyright © 2011 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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            Dexamethasone intravitreal implant for noninfectious intermediate or posterior uveitis.

            To evaluate the safety and efficacy of 2 doses of dexamethasone intravitreal implant (DEX implant) for treatment of noninfectious intermediate or posterior uveitis. In this 26-week trial, eyes with noninfectious intermediate or posterior uveitis were randomized to a single treatment with a 0.7-mg DEX implant (n = 77), 0.35-mg DEX implant (n = 76), or sham procedure (n = 76). The main outcome measure was the proportion of eyes with a vitreous haze score of 0 at week 8. The proportion of eyes with a vitreous haze score of 0 at week 8 was 47% with the 0.7-mg DEX implant, 36% with the 0.35-mg DEX implant, and 12% with the sham (P .05 at any visit). The incidence of cataract reported in the phakic eyes was 9 of 62 (15%) with the 0.7-mg DEX implant, 6 of 51 (12%) with the 0.35-mg DEX implant, and 4 of 55 (7%) with the sham (P > .05). In patients with noninfectious intermediate or posterior uveitis, a single DEX implant significantly improved intraocular inflammation and visual acuity persisting for 6 months. Application to Clinical Practice Dexamethasone intravitreal implant may be used safely and effectively for treatment of intermediate and posterior uveitis. Trial Registration clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00333814.
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              Subfoveal fibrovascular membranes in age-related macular degeneration express vascular endothelial growth factor.

              Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent and specific angiogenic growth factor, in vitro and in vivo, that may be associated with the development of intraocular neovascularization. In the current study, the authors analyze the expression of VEGF in subfoveal fibrovascular membranes from patients with age-related macular degeneration. Surgically removed subfoveal fibrovascular membranes from 18 eyes were analyzed for the expression of VEGF mRNA and protein using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, respectively. Most specimens expressed both VEGF mRNA and protein. The VEGF mRNA expression was particularly high in areas with a marked inflammatory response, in which the expression was concentrated to cells resembling fibroblasts and to surrounding inflammatory cells. VEGF protein expression was seen in fibrovascular parts of the membranes and was predominantly localized to the cytoplasm of fibroblastlike cells. In some of these membranes, strong VEGF protein immunoreactivity also was concentrated to extracellular matrix foci within the fibrovascular stroma. Results indicate that VEGF may be of pathogenetic importance for the development of the choroidal neovascularization (age-related macular degeneration) and also may implicate a role of fibroblasts of presumable choroidal origin in this process.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                1177-8881
                2017
                16 August 2017
                : 11
                : 2359-2372
                Affiliations
                Department of Ophthalmology, University of Catania, Catania, Italy
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Vincenza Bonfiglio, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Catania, Via S Sofia 76, 95100, Catania, Italy, Tel +39 095 378 1291, Fax +39 095 378 1288, Email enzabonfiglio@ 123456gmail.com
                Article
                dddt-11-2359
                10.2147/DDDT.S138922
                5566324
                © 2017 Bonfiglio et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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