Comparison of Intravitreal Bevacizumab and Intravitreal Diclofenac in the Treatment of Diabetic Macular Edema: a 6-month Follow-up

Hooshang Faghihi, Hanif Yahyapour, Razyieh Mahmoudzadeh, Shahin Faghihi


The aim of this study was to compare the effect of intravitreal diclofenac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), with that of bevacizumab, a well-known anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drug, in the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME). Diclofenac was chosen in this study because it has both features of NSAIDs and corticosteroids by inhibiting the cyclooxygenase (COX) and lipoxygenase pathways, respectively. In this non-randomized comparative interventional case series, 64 eyes from 32 patients with bilateral naïve DME were selected and every eye was randomly assigned to intravitreal injection of bevacizumab (IVB) or diclofenac (IVD). After exclusion of some patients because of short follow-up duration or less than two intravitreal injections, finally, 52 eyes from 26 patients were analyzed. Of those, 26 eyes received 500 µg/0.1 mL IVD and 26 eyes received 1.25 mg IVB. After 6 months of follow-up, the results indicated that visual acuity was significantly improved from 0.50 ± 0.13 in IVB and 0.52 ± 0.12 LogMAR in IVD at baseline to 0.2 ± 0.1 and 0.29 ± 0.07, respectively. Central macular thickness (CMT) and macular volume were measured based on spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) at month 1, 3, and 6. Both groups showed a significant reduction in CMT and macular volume from baseline but there was no significant difference between the IVB and IVD groups. Interestingly, IVD, but not IVB, decreased intraocular pressure (IOP), which is a desirable effect. There was no serious complication due to injections. This study sheds light into the long-term effects of NSAIDs and may support the idea that inflammation suppression by NSAIDs may have the same results as anti-VEGF administration.



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