The effects of intravitreally injected bevacizumab on the retina and retina pigment epithelium: experimental in-vivo electron microscopic study in intact versus vitrectomized eyes
AbstractTo analyze the retinal toxicity of bevacizumab at various doses both in vitrectomized and non-vitrectomized rabbit models. Twenty- eight rabbits were included in the study. Twenty- four rabbits were assigned to six groups, with 4 of the rabbits in the control group. The animals in Groups 1, 2 and 3 received bevacizumab at a dose of 0.3 mg, 0.5 mg and 1.5 mg /eye, respectively. The rabbits in Groups 4, 5 and 6 received intravitreal bevacizumab of 0.3 mg, 0.5 mg and 1.5mg/eye,
... mg/eye, respectively, after gas compression vitrectomy. Two weeks after the procedure, the rabbits were euthanized. Retina tissue samples were then obtained and examined with both light and electron microscopes. In Groups 1, 2 and 3 after bevacizumab injection, toxic degeneration in the photoreceptor and retinal pigment epithelium cells was observed via electron microscopic examination. The findings in Groups 4 and 5 were normal as compared to the control group. In Group 6, toxicity in the bipolar neurons and photoreceptor cells was noticed. Increased toxicity and retinal penetration were noticed in all administered doses of bevacizumab in the presence of vitreous. In addition, ocular toxicity occurred through the injection of the highest dose of bevacizumab after vitrectomy. It is possible that the bevacizumab dose and the, vitreous are as important as the drug half-life in the vitreous.