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Risk of endophthalmitis associated with injections for wet AMD

Patients are frequently concerned about the benefits and risks of medical procedures. And the standard of care for the treatment of wet macular degeneration is injections of a drug into the vitreous cavity of the eye, where it hopefully causes atrophy and elimination of abnormal blood vessels that leak blood and fluid into the retina. One of the questions is what are the risks of infection with such treatments? A study published in the February 2009 issue of? the scientific journal, Eye, links injections of Lucentis or Avastin that are used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration with endophthalmitis. Researchers determined there is a 1 in 1000 incidence of endophthalmitis which is an infection of the inner eye tissues in patients who receive the injections as treatment for wet AMD. Three eyes of three patients who were identified as being diagnosed with endophthalmitis following their injections were studied. All three patients improved by the end of their follow-up period. Researchers determined that endophthalmitis is still a potential complication of Lucentis or Avastin injections despite taking all precautions to ensure maximum sterilization techniques. The infection occurs rapidly and it is imperative that the signs of infection be recognized and treated early to prevent any vision loss. Andrea Schumann Staff Writer

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