Risk of Systemic Adverse Events after Intravitreal Bevacizumab, Ranibizumab, and Aflibercept in Routine Clinical Practice

Maya H. Maloney, Stephanie R. Payne, Jeph Herrin, Lindsey R. Sangaralingham, Nilay D. Shah, Andrew J. Barkmeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pharmacotherapy plays a central role in the management of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD), diabetic retinal disease (DRD), and retinal venous occlusive disease (RVO). Within clinical trials, rates of systemic serious adverse events (SAEs) after anti-VEGF treatment have been low. However, the comparative systemic safety profile of common anti-VEGF agents remains incompletely understood. The goal of this study was to compare the systemic safety of intravitreal bevacizumab, ranibizumab, and aflibercept in real-world practice. Design: Retrospective cohort study. Participants: Using a large U.S. administrative claims database of commercially insured and Medicare Advantage enrollees, we identified adult cohorts receiving initial anti-VEGF injections for nAMD, DRD, and RVO between January 1, 2007, and June 30, 2018. We included patients with 1 year of insurance coverage before initial treatment. Methods: We compared predefined systemic outcomes between anti-VEGF agents occurring within 180 days of treatment initiation using propensity score–weighted Cox proportional hazards models. Patients were censored upon treatment with a different anti-VEGF medication or termination of health plan coverage. Main Outcome Measures: Primary outcomes were acute myocardial infarction (MI), acute cerebrovascular disease (CVD), major bleeding, and all-cause hospitalization. Results: A total of 87 844 patients received initial anti-VEGF injections for nAMD, DRD, and RVO between January 1, 2007, and June 30, 2018 (69 007 bevacizumab; 10 895 ranibizumab; 7942 aflibercept). Postinjection 180-day event rates per 100 patients for MI, CVD, major bleeding, and all-cause hospitalization were similar for bevacizumab (0.64, 0.59, 0.34, and 10.41, respectively), ranibizumab (0.62, 0.53, 0.40, and 9.44, respectively), and aflibercept (0.63, 0.60, 0.20, and 9.88, respectively). No differences were identified for the risk of MI, CVD, major bleeding, or all-cause hospitalization when comparing the risk-adjusted effect of treatment initiation with bevacizumab versus ranibizumab (hazard ratio [HR], 0.96 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 0.74–1.25]; HR, 1.04 [95% CI, 0.78–1.38]; HR, 0.85 [95% CI, 0.61–1.19]; HR, 1.03 [95% CI, 0.96–1.10], all P > 0.05), bevacizumab versus aflibercept (HR, 0.95 [95% CI, 0.68–1.33], HR, 0.99 [95% CI, 0.71–1.38], HR, 1.02 [95% CI, 0.60–1.74], HR, 1.01 [95% CI, 0.93–1.10], all P > 0.05), or aflibercept versus ranibizumab (HR, 0.91 [95% CI, 0.62–1.35], HR, 1.12 [95% CI, 0.74–1.69], HR, 0.96 [95% CI, 0.53–1.73], HR, 1.02 [95% CI, 0.92–1.13], all P > 0.05). Conclusions: We observed no differences in the risk of acute MI, CVD, major bleeding, or all-cause hospitalization after treatment initiation with intravitreal bevacizumab, ranibizumab, or aflibercept during routine clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-424
Number of pages8
JournalOphthalmology
Volume128
Issue number3
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • aflibercept
  • age-related macular degeneration
  • anti-VEGF
  • bevacizumab
  • diabetic retinopathy
  • ranibizumab
  • retinal vein occlusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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