The Effect of Ranibizumab on Normal Neurosensory Retina in the Eyes of Patients with Exudative Age Related Macular Degeneration

Olga E. Makri1, Demetrios Vavvas2, Panagiotis Plotas1, Athina Pallikari1, Constantine D. Georgakopoulos1, *
1 Department of Ophthalmology, Medical School, University of Patras, Patra, Greece
2 Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

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Creative Commons License
© 2017 Makri et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Department of Ophthalmology, University of Patras, Medical School, 265 04, Patras, Greece, Tel: +30 2610 999262, Fax: +30 2610 993994; E-mail:



Anti-vascular endothelial growth factors have become the mainstay treatment for neovascular age related macular degeneration. Prolonged suppression of vascular endothelial growth factor raises concerns as it may result in harmful effects on retina.


The purpose of this retrospective chart review is to evaluate the 1-year effect of treatment with intravitreal injections of ranibizumab on normal neurosensory retinal tissue of patients with exudative age related macular degeneration using the Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT).


The study included sixty five eyes of 62 patients (32 male and 30 female; mean age 74.97±8.5 years) with exudative age related macular degeneration treated with intravitreal injections of ranibizumab with a pro re nata treatment regimen over a period of 1 year. The MM5 thickness maps acquired with the Optovue RTVue-100 Fourier-domain OCT at baseline, at 3 months, after the 3 loading doses of ranibizumab, and at the 1 year follow-up visit were used for analysis. Changes of inner and outer retinal thickness in four selected points of normal retina on the MM5 scan were evaluated.


The patients received a mean of 6.4 ± 1.8 (median 6, range 3-11) intravitreal injections of ranibizumab over a period of 12 months. No significant change was observed in inner and outer retinal thickness at pre-selected spots of normal retina during the first year of intravitreal administration of ranibizumab.


One year treatment with ranibizumab on an individualized, according to need dosing regimen does not seem to induce any detectable structural damage in the unaffected, normal retina.

Keywords: Age related macular degeneration, Ganglion cells, Neurosensory retina thickness, Ranibizumab, Toxicity, AMD.