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Intravitreal bevacizumab improves the clearance of vitreous haemorrhage and visual outcomes in patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy
  1. Joonas Wirkkala1,
  2. Risto Bloigu2,
  3. Nina Maria Hautala1
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
  2. 2Medical Informatics Group, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nina Maria Hautala; nina.hautala{at}


Objective To evaluate the occurrence of vitreous haemorrhage (VH) secondary to proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) and the efficacy of intravitreal bevacizumab (IVB) for VH in 5-year real-life data.

Methods and analysis 850 adult patients with type 1 (T1D) or type 2 diabetes (T2D) with PDR were screened for VH. The effect of IVB was evaluated by the clearage of VH and the change in best corrected visual acuity (BCVA). The rates of VHs, reinjections, macular oedema, complications, additional treatments and outcomes of spontaneous resorption, panretinal photocoagulation or pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) for VH were also investigated.

Results VH occurred in 16% of patients with T1D and 9% of patients with T2D with PDR. 336 VHs in 140 eyes of 103 patients were documented. VH was cleared in 92% of cases in less than 3 months by the initial IVB. IVB was superior to other treatment methods in shortening the time for clearance of VH (Kaplan-Meier, p<0.0001). The average rate of IVB reinjections was 1.7±1.1 and the reinjection interval was 7.2±3.9 weeks. BCVA increased 0.73±0.04 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution units after IVB (generalised estimating equations, p=0.0004). In 5 years, the patients had 2.2±2.7 recurrence of VHs. A simultaneous 72% decrease in the rate of PPVs was documented (p<0.0001).

Conclusion VH occurs mostly in patients with T1D. The therapeutic effect of IVB for VH was significant and led to improved clearance of VH and visual outcome. Moreover, IVB prevented persistent and recurrent VHs and decreased the need for costly PPV.

  • intravitreal bevacizumab
  • anti-VEGF-treatment
  • proliferative diabetic retinopathy
  • vitreous haemorrhage

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  • Contributors All authors have significantly contributed to work: designing the study protocol (all authors), collecting the data (JW, NMH), analysing the results (all authors), preparation of the manuscript (all authors) and reviewing the manuscript (all authors).

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The study followed the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki and it was conducted with the approval of the Oulu University Hospital Research Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article.

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