Treatment of Intractable Diabetic Macular Edema with Pegaptanib Versus Bevacizumab, Both in Combination with Dexamethasone


  • Diana M Leitner University of Kansas Medical Center:KU School of Medicine-Wichita, 1010 North Kansas, Wichita, KS 67214-3199, USA.
  • David M Chacko
  • Philip Twumasi-Ankrah
  • Elizabeth Ablah



diabetic retinopathy, macular edema, pegaptanib, bevacizumab


BACKGROUND: Diabetic macular edema is a significant cause of vision loss, and some patients do not respond optimally to existing treatments. This study compared the response of intractable diabetic macular edema to intravitreal injection of two anti-VEGF drugs, bevacizumab and pegaptanib, both in combination with dexamethasone. METHODS: A retrospective chart review was conducted to examine patients from an ophthalmology practice in one year with diabetic macular edema (DME), recurrent or persistent, after focal laser or intravitreal bevacizumab. Patients received bevacizumab/dexamethasone or pegaptanib/dexamethasone. Outcome measures were improvement in best corrected visual activity (converted to LogMAR) and central macular thickness (CRT). Data on adverse effects also were collected. RESULTS: The bevacizumab/dexamethasone group included 25 eyes which had pre-treatment LogMAR = 0.69 ± 0.49 (mean ± SD) and CRT = 419 ± 131. Post-treatment LogMAR was 0.70 ± 0.48 and CRT = 377 ± 107. The pegaptanib/dexamethasone group included 14 eyes; pretreatment LogMAR = 0.80 ± 0.55 and CRT = 520 ± 108. Post-treatment LogMAR was 0.77 ± 0.49 and CRT = 46 4 ± 106. Neither treatment had a significant effect on visual acuity. Both groups experienced a significant decrease in CRT over time (p = 0.006). The pegaptanib/ dexamethasone group had higher CRT at all times (p = 0.020), but the trend in CRT decrease was not different between the two groups. Intraocular pressure increased in both groups (p = 0.038). No other adverse effects were reported. CONCLUSIONS: Neither bevacizumab/dexamethasone or pegaptanib/dexamethasone significantly improved visual acuity in intractable DME, but both decreased central macular thickness. Differences in outcome measures between the two treatment groups were not significant. The only adverse effect seen was a small increase in intraocular pressure.




How to Cite

Leitner, D. M., Chacko, D. M., Twumasi-Ankrah, P., & Ablah, E. (2012). Treatment of Intractable Diabetic Macular Edema with Pegaptanib Versus Bevacizumab, Both in Combination with Dexamethasone. Kansas Journal of Medicine, 5(3), 83–93.



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