International Ophthalmology

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 221–227 | Cite as

Subconjunctival and/or intrastromal bevacizumab injections as preconditioning therapy to promote corneal graft survival

  • Romina Fasciani
  • Luigi Mosca
  • Maria Ilaria Giannico
  • Simone Antonio Ambrogio
  • Emilio Balestrazzi
Original Paper


The purpose of this study is to investigate whether subconjunctival and/or intrastromal Bevacizumab injections could help to prevent graft failure in high-risk keratoplasties. Twenty seven eyes of 27 patients, affected by high immune rejection risk and corneal neovascularization, were involved in this prospective interventional case–control series (case group: 14 eyes and control group: 13 eyes). Case group was submitted to a cycle of three subconjunctival and/or intrastromal injections of 5 mg/0.2 ml Bevacizumab. After a mean period of 6.36 months ± 3.38 SD from the last injection, all patients underwent keratoplasty. An adjunctive injection was performed intraoperatively at the end of the surgical procedure. Control group did not receive any Bevacizumab injection, but directly underwent keratoplasty. Each patient was submitted to a complete eye examination and corneal confocal microscopy. The absence of immune rejection signs in the graft, at clinical and confocal microscopy examination, was considered as main outcome measure. All cases showed less ocular inflammation and activity of vessels. No side effects were detected after the injection procedure. No corneal graft rejection was seen during the follow-up (mean 26.1 months ± 5.7 SD) in the case group. Six eyes of the control group showed graft rejection 3.8 months ± 1.4 SD after keratoplasty. As a conclusion, Bevacizumab injection may represent a preconditioning treatment to improve prognosis in high-risk corneal transplantation. The procedure seems to be safe and it may help to reduce the inflammatory stimulus that plays a key role in corneal graft rejection.


Graft rejection Keratoplasty Bevacizumab Corneal neovascularization Anti-VEGF 




Financial Disclosure



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Romina Fasciani
    • 1
  • Luigi Mosca
    • 1
  • Maria Ilaria Giannico
    • 1
  • Simone Antonio Ambrogio
    • 1
  • Emilio Balestrazzi
    • 1
  1. 1.Ophthalmology DepartmentA. Gemelli Policlinic, Catholic University of “Sacro Cuore”RomeItaly

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