Efficacy of intravitreal aflibercept monotherapy in retinopathy of prematurity evaluated by periodic fluorescence angiography and optical coherence tomography

Abstract

Purpose

To evaluate the efficacy of intravitreal aflibercept (IVA) in vascular and macular maturation in neonates with type 1 retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and aggressive posterior retinopathy of prematurity (APROP).

Materials and methods

Thirty-six eyes of 18 patients with type 1 ROP or APROP in zone I or posterior zone II were enrolled in our study. At baseline, only fluorescein angiography (FA) was performed. After IVA injection, both FA and optical coherence tomography (OCT) were performed after 6.8 ± 0.8 (range 6–8) and 19 ± 0.9 (range 18–20) weeks to follow vascular and macular changes.

Results

Both diffuse flat neovascularization with leakage and abnormal vascular branching at the small arteriolar level were detected in all eyes (100%) at baseline FA. Regression of the disease was observed in 34 eyes (94.4%) in the first week with binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy. Early unresponsiveness in remaining two eyes of an infant required an IVA re-treatment. Late reactivation was detected only in 19.4% of eyes, none of which required treatment during 12 months of follow-up. The most common feature after IVA injection was abnormal branching at capillary level, which was noted in 100% in the first post-injection FA and 50.0% of all eyes in the second FA. Meanwhile, the end limit of vascularization was observed in zone III in 83.3% of eyes. No vascular abnormality was also detected in 27.3% of eyes. The OCT examination at a mean postmenstrual age of 43.4 weeks revealed cystoid macular changes in four eyes of two infants (11.1%), normal foveal contour in 30 eyes of 15 infants (83.3%) and matured ellipsoid zone at the foveal center in 28 eyes of 14 infants (77.8%). Macular maturation was complete in all eyes in the last OCT analyses.

Conclusion

Intravitreal aflibercept monotherapy has been an effective treatment in type I ROP and APROP with much lower early and late re-treatment rates because of early unresponsiveness and late reactivation, respectively. In most of the eyes, rapid vascular outgrowth beyond zone III together with normal macular maturation was observed more precisely by periodic FA and OCT.

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Correspondence to Aslı Vural.

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Vural, A., Perente, İ., Onur, İ.U. et al. Efficacy of intravitreal aflibercept monotherapy in retinopathy of prematurity evaluated by periodic fluorescence angiography and optical coherence tomography. Int Ophthalmol 39, 2161–2169 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10792-018-1040-x

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Keywords

  • Aflibercept
  • Fluorescein angiography
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Retinopathy of prematurity