Background We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized trials of ranibizumab for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) to elucidate systemic vascular risk.
Clinical Relevance Although intravitreal vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors are widely used to treat AMD, whether they produce systemic adverse effects remains uncertain.
Methods We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials through March 2014 to identify the randomized trials that compared systemic safety among different intensities of ranibizumab treatment for AMD. The outcome measures were the incidence of cerebrovascular accidents (CVAs), myocardial infarctions, nonocular hemorrhages, overall arterial thromboembolic events (ATEs), and all-cause mortality. We calculated the Peto odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval for the comparisons between different intensities of regimens in terms of dose and retreatment frequency.
Results Eleven trials comprising 6596 patients with AMD were included in the meta-analysis. A significant increase was observed in the following comparisons: 0.5 versus 0.3/0.0 mg for CVA (OR, 1.86; 95% CI, 1.05-3.29; P = 0.03), monthly versus pro re nata (PRN)/0.0 mg for CVA (OR, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.06-3.38; P = 0.03), and 0.3/0.5 versus 0.0 mg for nonocular hemorrhage (OR, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.01-2.44; P = 0.04). A nonsignificant increase was observed in the following comparisons: 0.5 versus 0.0 mg for CVA (OR, 2.27; 95% CI, 0.90-5.69; P = 0.08), monthly versus PRN for CVA (OR, 2.04; 95% CI, 0.94-4.45; P = 0.07), 0.5 versus 0.0 mg for nonocular hemorrhage (OR, 1.68; 95% CI, 0.98-2.88; P = 0.06), 0.3 versus 0.0 mg for nonocular hemorrhage (OR, 1.68; 95% CI, 0.95-2.98; P = 0.07), monthly versus PRN/0.0 mg for nonocular hemorrhage (OR, 1.54; 95% CI, 0.98-2.42; P = 0.06), monthly versus PRN for ATE (OR, 1.58; 95% CI, 0.96-2.61; P = 0.07), and monthly versus PRN/0.0 mg for ATE (OR, 1.42; 95% CI, 0.99-2.05; P = 0.06). Among the other analyses, no protective or harmful effects of ranibizumab were observed.
Conclusions In ranibizumab treatment for patients with AMD, a possible relationship of more intensive treatment to more systemic vascular adverse events was identified, but no relationship with mortality was identified.