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Incidence of ocular hypertension after anti-VEGF injections: examining the effect of drug filtration and silicone-free syringes

      Abstract

      Objective

      To examine the difference in incidence of ocular hypertension (OHT) following the introduction of filtered anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) medication in silicone-free syringes.

      Design

      Retrospective cohort study.

      Methods

      A retrospective review of consecutive treatment-naive patients receiving intravitreal anti-VEGF injections in a group practice was performed. Data from the cohort receiving nonfiltered anti-VEGF in insulin syringes (IS group) was collected from June 2015. Data from the cohort receiving filtered anti-VEGF in silicone-free syringes (SFS group) was collected from June 2019. Follow up data were collected at 1 year. Exclusion criteria included prior anti-VEGF treatment, known glaucoma or diagnosis of glaucoma suspect before anti-VEGF treatment, neovascular glaucoma, steroid use, or vitrectomy during follow-up. Primary outcome was the cumulative incidence of intraocular pressure (IOP) > 21 mmHg and IOP ≥ 30 mm Hg at any follow-up visit. The use of IOP lowering therapy was also recorded.

      Results

      The mean age (71 ± 13 years), mean number of injections (9.6 ± 2.7), and median follow-up time (392 ± 57 days) were similar between groups. The incidence of IOP ≥ 21 mm Hg was 34% (34/100) in the IS group and 15% (15/100) in the SFS group (p = 0.025). The incidence of IOP ≥ 30 mm Hg was 8% (8/100) in the IS group and 0% (0/100) in the SFS group (p =0.004). The incidence of IOP-lowering therapy was 13% in the IS group and 0% in the SFS group (p =0.0002).

      Conclusion

      The incidence of OHT and treatment with IOP-lowering therapy significantly decreased after the introduction of filtered anti-VEGF medication and silicone-free syringes.
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