Alexander Barash, Toco Y.P. Chui, Patricia Garcia, Richard B. Rosen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Purpose: Intravitreal injections acutely and temporarily increase intraocular pressure (IOP), and this may have cumulative long-term effects including an increased risk for glaucoma surgery. This study was designed to measure retinal perfusion density changes on optical coherence tomography (OCT) angiography and OCT thickness alterations associated with acutely increased IOP after intravitreal injections. Methods: Retrospective observational clinical study of 40 eyes (39 patients) with various retinopathies from October 2016 to June 2017 at a tertiary care retina clinic in NYC. Patients were older than 18 years, with vision >20/100, able to fixate and without media opacities precluding OCT angiography, receiving intravitreal bevacizumab or aflibercept for diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusion, macular degeneration, retinal neovascularization, or radiation retinopathy. The 3-mm × 3-mm macular and 4.5-mm × 4.5-mm peripapillary OCT angiography perfusion density, macular OCT thickness, and IOP were measured before and immediately after intravitreal injections. Paired t-test was used to compare preinjection and postinjection values for perfusion density and OCT thickness. Regression analysis was performed for potential effects of baseline IOP, IOP change, and age. Results: Statistically significant decreases in angiographic perfusion density (P< 0.05) were found in most areas of the superficial and deep layer macular OCT angiography, and the overall optic nerve head and the radial peripapillary capillary layer, preferentially temporal. Macular OCT thickness was significantly decreased in the temporal region and increased in the nasal region. Regression analysis showed relationships between age and decreased superficial macular perfusion. Preinjection IOP was only related to OCT thickness in the fovea. Intraocular pressure change was related only to decreased superficial macular perfusion density. Conclusion: Intravitreal injections produce acute IOP changes that are associated with reduced macular and peripapillary perfusion density. Therefore, it is possible that patients receiving regular intravitreal injections may be sustaining perfusion-related injury to ocular structures that may produce glaucomatous damage to the macula and optic nerve.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)648-656
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Glaucoma
  • Intravitreal injections
  • Macula
  • OCT angiography
  • Perfusion density


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