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Hypotensive efficacy of topical brimonidine for intraocular pressure spikes following intravitreal injections of antivascular endothelial growth factor agents: a randomised crossover trial


Purpose To determine the effect of topical brimonidine tartrate prophylaxis on intraocular pressure (IOP) spikes following intravitreal injection of antivascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) agents.

Methods This is a randomised crossover trial of consecutive non-glaucomatous eyes receiving intravitreal anti-VEGF injections between December 2016 and July 2017. All eyes were randomly assigned to no prophylaxis or topical brimonidine tartrate 0.15 % administered 20 min prior to injection in one of two consecutive visits. Measurements of IOP were obtained immediately (T0), 10 min (T10) and 20 min (T20) after injection during the visits with and without prophylaxis.

Results Among the 58 eyes of 55 patients (116 visits), the mean (SD) age was 74.3 (11.6), and 62% were female. The mean baseline IOP was 15.3 (2.3) mm Hg (range: 11–20). On average, the immediate postinjection IOP during the visit without prophylaxis was 41.6 (12) mm Hg (range: 17–81). Compared with no prophylaxis, the visit with preadministered topical brimonidine tartrate had a lower IOP at T0 (p<0.001), T10 (p=0.001) and T20 (p=0.043), and a smaller proportion of eyes with IOP elevation of greater than 20 mm Hg from preinjection (p=0.002) and IOP greater than 50 mm Hg at T0 (p=0.036). Without prophylaxis, two eyes (two patients) had an IOP of greater than 70 mm Hg at T0 and thus underwent anterior chamber paracentesis.

Conclusion Topical brimonidine tartrate prophylaxis for intravitreal injection of anti-VEGF agents effectively reduces IOP spikes in non-glaucomatous eyes and may be easily incorporated into ophthalmologists’ current practice.

Trial registration number NCT03513172

  • alpha2-adrenergic agonists
  • intraocular pressure
  • intraocular pressure spikes
  • intravitreal injections
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