Serial Intravitreal Bevacizumab Injections Slow the Progression of Radiation Maculopathy Following Iodine-125 Plaque Radiotherapy

Andrew W. Stacey, Hakan Demirci*
Department of Ophthalmology, Kellogg Eye Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

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© Stacey and Demirci; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the W.K. Kellogg Eye Center, University of Michigan, 1000 Wall St. Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA; E-mail:


Background and Objective:

To assess the outcomes of intravitreal bevacizumab injection in the management of radiation maculopathy secondary to plaque radiotherapy, and to identify optimal treatment strategies.

Study Design:

A retrospective review of all choroidal melanoma patients at one referral center who were treated with plaque radiotherapy, subsequently developed radiation maculopathy, and received intravitreal bevacizumab.


A total of 31 patients were identified. The mean visual acuity decreased three Snellen lines in the year leading up to the first bevacizumab injection. After initiating injection therapy, the mean visual acuity remained stable for 9 months. The change in visual acuity of patients who received injections within 90 days of previous injections was significantly better than the visual acuity of those who received injections more than 90 days apart (p=0.0003). Patients who demonstrated late-phase macular leakage on fluorescein angiography at the time of the first bevacizumab injection had better long-term visual acuity outcomes than patients who had no evidence of macular leakage (average of one line improvement of vision vs. ten line loss of vision, p=0.03).


Intravitreal bevacizumab injection was effective in stabilizing visual acuity in patients with radiation maculopathy. Patients benefited most from injections administered every 90 days or sooner. Fluorescein angiography can help identify patients who will respond favorably to treatment.

Keywords: Choroidal melanoma patients, Fluorescein angiography, Intravitreal bevacizumab injection, Macular disease, Radiotherapy, Visual acuity.