Best practices for treatment of retinal vein occlusion.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Retinal vein occlusion (RVO) is a sight-threatening retinal vascular disorder associated with macular edema and neovascularization. Until recently, the standard of care for branch RVO-associated macular edema was grid laser photocoagulation and observation for central RVO-associated macular edema. Neovascularization was treated with scatter laser photocoagulation. The purpose of this article is to review recent findings that have changed our treatments of RVO. RECENT FINDINGS: The recent development of intravitreal pharmacotherapy has demonstrated benefit with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agents and corticosteroids for the treatment of RVO-associated macular edema. The intravitreal use of FDA-approved ranibizumab (Lucentis) and a sustained release dexamethasone implant (Ozurdex), along with off-label bevacizumab (Avastin) and preservative-free triamcinolone, has significantly expanded our treatment options and replaced standard of care for treatment of RVO-associated macular edema. Whereas anti-VEGF agents can also induce rapid regression of neovascularization, scatter laser photocoagulation remains the standard of care to prevent neovascular complications. SUMMARY: Intravitreal pharmacotherapy has revolutionized our treatment of retinal vascular diseases, including RVO. Although these intravitreal agents are effective, our understanding of their specific indications and long-term roles is still evolving. Furthermore, until the underlying occlusive pathophysiology of RVO can be addressed, our treatments will be limited to temporizing therapies against a chronic disease.
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