Complications of Intravitreal Injections

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PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Over the past few years, the results of many studies have highlighted the risks and benefits of intravitreal injection of a number of medications, the most common being triamcinolone, antivascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agents, antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, and methotrexate. The purpose of this review is to highlight the complications associated with these injections.

RECENT FINDINGS: Elevated intraocular pressure and glaucoma are the most common complications of intraocular triamcinolone. There is also an increased incidence of cataract formation/progression over time. The immunosuppressive effect of triamcinolone does not appear to increase the risk of endophthalmitis. Recent reports suggest that intravitreal anti-VEGF injections have a low complication rate. Similarly, antimicrobials also have low rates of injection-associated complications.

SUMMARY: Intravitreal injections play a critical role in daily ophthalmic practice. The overall risk of endophthalmitis and retinal detachment appears to be low and most of the commonly used drugs are well tolerated, even with repeat injection. Further long-term studies need to be performed to elucidate ways of increasing the safety of these procedures and medications.

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Current Opinion in Ophthalmology





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This article was published in Current Opinion in Ophthalmology, Volume 21, Issue 3, May 2010, Pages 178-83.

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Copyright © 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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