To determine whether intraocular treatment with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors change systemic endothelial function (EF) in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
In this prospective, randomized, 2-center, double-masked controlled interventional trial, patients with neovascular and dry AMD were enrolled. Eligible neovascular AMD patients received 2 intravitreal loading doses of either ranibizumab 0.5 mg or bevacizumab 1.25 mg at 4-week intervals and were subsequently followed every 4 weeks and treated according to a pro re nata regime for up to 1 year. Patients with dry AMD served as controls. The primary endpoint was the change in EF assessed by flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) after 2 months of treatment with VEGF inhibitors in patients with AMD compared to patients with dry AMD. FMD was assessed with B-mode high-resolution ultrasonography of the left brachial artery.
24 patients with neovascular AMD and 26 patients with dry ADM were included in the trial. Treatment with VEGF inhibitors did not significantly change FMD (from 4.7 ± 2.4 to 3.9 ± 1.9% after 8 weeks, p = 0.07, and to 5.1 ± 2.0% after 1 year; p = 0.93 vs. baseline, respectively).
EF did not significantly differ between patients with neovascular AMD treated with intravitreal VEGF inhibition and patients with dry AMD.