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Intravitreal Anti-VEGF Injections in Pregnancy: Case Series and Review of Literature.

TitleIntravitreal Anti-VEGF Injections in Pregnancy: Case Series and Review of Literature.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsPolizzi, Silvio, and Mahajan Vinit B.
JournalJ Ocul Pharmacol Ther
Date Published2015 Dec
KeywordsAdult, Angiogenesis Inhibitors, Bevacizumab, Female, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Intravitreal Injections, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Complications, Pregnancy Outcome, Risk Factors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A

The use of intravitreal antivascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) injection is gaining wide acceptance as an off-label therapy for diseases that may affect pregnant women. However, these drugs may cause systemic side effects in the mother and fetal harm. This could lead specialists to not administer the drug or women to abort the fetus or to refuse treatment during pregnancy. We report the course of pregnancy in 3 women treated with intravitreal bevacizumab and provide a review of the literature on the use of intravitreal anti-VEGF in pregnancy. Our patients did not have any drug-related adverse event and delivered healthy full-term infants, although one of the women had risk factors for miscarriage. Infants reached all developmental milestones appropriately during infancy. A literature search on the use of intravitreal anti-VEGF injection in pregnancy was undertaken. Data for this review were identified by searches of PubMed and references from relevant articles using the search terms "pegaptanib," "bevacizumab," "ranibizumab," "aflibercept," "anti-VEGF," "intravitreal injection," "pregnant," "pregnancy," "abortion," "miscarriage," "preeclampsia," "embryo-fetal toxicity," "fetal malformations," "teratogenesis," "adverse events," and "maternofetal complications" in multiple combinations. We believe that intravitreal anti-VEGF can be given during pregnancy only when potential benefit to the woman justifies the potential risks to the fetus. When making a decision about whether to give drugs during pregnancy, it is important to consider the timing of exposure and its relationship to windows of developmental sensitivity. We believe that this review will be useful to specialists to inform and possibly treat their pregnant patients.

Alternate JournalJ Ocul Pharmacol Ther
PubMed ID26302032
PubMed Central IDPMC4677108
Grant ListK08EY020530 / EY / NEI NIH HHS / United States