Effect of anti-VEGF intravitreal injections on the development of nervous system in retinopathy of prematurity

Authors: Tian Ya,  Zhang Fuyan,  Zhang Guoming
DOI: 10.3760/cma.j.cn115989-20200731-00548
Published 2022-03-10
Cite asChin J Exp Ophthalmol, 2022, 40(3): 271-275.

Abstract

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a blinding eye disease characterized by abnormal proliferation of retinal blood vessels in children.Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) can specifically stimulate retinal vascular endothelial cell proliferation and neovascularization.Retinal ischemia and hypoxia in preterm infants promote the compensatory increase of intraocular VEGF expression, and then induce the pathological growth of retinal vessels.The intravitreal injection of anti-VEGF drugs provides a new therapeutic way for ROP by inhibiting the biological activity of VEGF and delaying retinal neovascularization.However, the blood-retina barrier of children with ROP is likely to be destructed, which can cause the imbalanced homeostasis of the retinal microenvironment.The anti-VEGF drugs can cause irreversible damage to nerve cells through the blood-retina barrier and blood-brain barrier, which affects the development of the nervous system in children with ROP.At present, whether anti-VEGF drugs result in the abnormal development and functional changes of nervous system in premature infants remains unknown and attracts much attention.In this paper, the role of VEGF in the pathogenesis of ROP and neurodevelopment, as well as the effects of anti-VEGF drug intravitreal injections on the neurological development of children with ROP were reviewed to provide the clinical basis for the rational and safe application of anti-VEGF drugs.

Key words:

Retinopathy of prematurity; Vascular endothelial growth factor; Blood-brain barrier; Nervous system

Contributor Information

Tian Ya

School of Clinical Medicine, Guizhou Medical University, Guiyang 550004, China

Zhang Fuyan

School of Clinical Medicine, Guizhou Medical University, Guiyang 550004, China

Zhang Guoming

Shenzhen Eye Hospital, Shenzhen Eye Institute, Shenzhen Eye Hospital affiliated to Jinan University, School of Optometry, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518040, China

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