PURPOSE: To evaluate the effect of subconjunctival bevacizumab (Avastin) administration on corneal neovascularization (NV) in rabbits. METHODS: NV was induced by placing a suture at the corneal periphery of the right eye of 20 rabbits. Immediately after suturing and again 1 week later, rabbits were divided into 2 groups and administered a subconjunctival injection of normal saline (control) or bevacizumab (Avastin; 5 mg/0.2 mL), respectively. On day 14, digital photographs of the cornea were taken and analyzed to determine the area of the cornea covered by NV. In addition, immunohistochemical analysis was used to determine CD31 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in corneal tissue. RESULTS: Analysis of digital photographs showed that there was less corneal NV in bevacizumab-treated eyes than in controls (P < 0.001, Mann-Whitney U test). In addition, there was less staining for VEGF and CD31 in corneas from bevacizumab-treated eyes than in control eyes. Subconjunctival bevacizumab injections were not associated with any complications during observation. CONCLUSIONS: Subconjunctival bevacizumab administration decreased suture-induced corneal neovascularization in rabbits.
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