Drug Therapy Shows Significant Benefit In Treating A Leading Cause Of Childhood Blindness
Posted Feb 17 2011 5:32pm
A readily available, inexpensive drug therapy showed a significant benefit in treating premature infants with the worst and historically most difficult-to-treat cases of retinopathy of prematurity.
The results of a multicenter clinical trial led by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) are published in the Feb. 17 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.
Retinopathy of prematurity is a leading cause of childhood blindness worldwide. In the immature retina of babies born before 30 weeks’ gestational age, the disease results in disorganized growth of retinal blood vessels, which can lead to scarring and retinal detachment.
In this study, Helen A. Mintz-Hittner, M.D., the Alfred W. Lasher, III, Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science at the UTHealth Medical School, and colleagues compared the use of intravitreal bevacizumab, an anti-vascular endothelial growth factor, to conventional laser treatment.