Purpose: To investigate the safety, tolerability, and bioactivity of intravenous infusions of bevacizumab in patients with choroidal neovascularization (CNV) attributable to causes other than age-related macular degeneration. Design: Nonrandomized clinical trial. Methods: Ten patients with CNV received infusions of 5 mg/kg of bevacizumab. The primary efficacy outcome measure was change in visual acuity (VA; Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study letters read at 4 meters) at 24 weeks and secondary measures were changes from baseline in excess foveal thickness (center subfield thickness), area of fluorescein leakage, and area of CNV. Results: Infusions were well tolerated and there were no ocular or systemic adverse events. At baseline, median VA was 25.5 letters read at 4 meters (20/80) and median foveal thickness was 346 μm. At the primary endpoint (24 weeks), median VA was 48.5 letters (20/32), representing four lines of improvement from baseline (P = .005), median foveal thickness was 248 μm representing a 72% reduction in excess foveal thickness (P = .007). Four of nine patients had complete elimination of fluorescein leakage, three had near complete elimination (reductions of 91%, 88%, and 87%), two had modest reductions, and one had no reduction. All patients except one showed a reduction in area of CNV with a median reduction of 43%. Conclusions: Despite the small number of patients studied, the marked improvement in VA accompanied by prominent reductions in foveal thickness, fluorescein leakage, and area of CNV suggest a beneficial effect. It may be worthwhile to consider further evaluation of systemic bevacizumab in young patients with CNV.
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