Background/aims: Preclinical data suggest that intravitreally administered erythropoietin (EPO) is both neuroprotective and safe. In a small pilot series, we intended to assess the feasibility of intravitreal EPO injections in humans.
Methods: Three patients with acute vascular occlusion of the posterior pole received a single intravitreal EPO injection of 2000 U. Immediately before the injection and over the ensuing 3 months, these patients were closely monitored by measuring visual acuity, visual fields, intraocular pressure, the electroretinogram, the haematocrit and serum EPO levels.
Results: Over the observational period, most parameters remained unchanged except for a short-term rise of serum EPO levels, which, however, did not exceeded normal serum levels. No injection-related toxicity was observed.
Conclusion: Based on this limited set of data, a single EPO injection of 2000 U, a dose adapted from previous in vivo studies, is feasible and seems to induce no obvious damage. Hence, further investigations of this therapeutic approach appear justified.
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Competing interests None.
Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the Local Review Board, University Hospital Freiburg.
Patient consent Obtained.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.