Systemic adverse events and all-cause mortality following same-session bilateral intravitreal anti-VEGF injections: a systematic review

Abstract

PURPOSE: To review the risk of systemic adverse events and all-cause mortality following same-day bilateral anti-VEGF injections.

METHODS: Twelve literature databases were searched for studies on same-session bilateral intravitreal anti-VEGF injections. Studies reporting on systemic adverse events and mortality were included. Data extraction was made independently by two authors and discussed afterwards until consensus was reached.

RESULTS: Seven studies were included with a total of 13,406 intravitreal anti-VEGF injections (6703 bilateral injections sessions) given to 689 patients. Across all studies, mean age of patients ranged from 55.7 to 82.5 years, and mean follow-up times ranged from 1.3 to 41 months. Six studies reported on systemic adverse events: Two cases of non-fatal cardiac adverse events were reported after 12,964 injections (6482 bilateral injection sessions) in 626 patients. Four studies reported on death: 12 deaths were recorded after 6233 bilateral injection sessions in a total population of 554 subjects.

CONCLUSIONS: We suggest that the risk of non-fatal systemic adverse events and death after same-session bilateral anti-VEGF injection is reasonably low, but larger studies with follow-ups of several years are needed to quantify the exact risk.

STUDY REGISTRATION: Prospectively registered in PROSPERO, registration ID: CRD42023428254, registration date: 20/05/2023.

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