The number of eye diseases treated with intravitreal injections is increasing. Obviously, an injection of fluid into the eye results in an increase of intraocular pressure (IOP), the main risk factor for glaucoma. However, the effect of these repeated IOP increases on the eye is unclear. Therefore, we performed a systematic review with meta-analyses. PubMed, Embase and Clinical Trials Registries were searched for articles investigating the relationship between intravitreal injections (anti-vascular endothelial growth factor [anti-VEGF] or steroids) and either IOP, retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL)-thickness and glaucoma. Multiple meta-analyses were performed, combining data on intravitreal injection of anti-VEGF medication and dexamethasone implants. A total of 74 articles were eligible for meta-analyses. The short-term effect of an intravitreal injection of anti-VEGF showed a statistically significant increase in IOP. One day after injection of anti-VEGF, however, IOP was significantly lower than baseline. The long-term time-intervals showed no significant difference in IOP. After intravitreal injection of a dexamethasone implant, IOP was significantly higher than baseline 1 month post-injection. RNFL-thickness was significantly reduced 6 and 12 months post-injection of anti-VEGF, as well as at end of follow up. Caution is advised when using intravitreal medication, especially when treating patients with advanced glaucoma; in these cases, prophylactic IOP-lowering medication may be considered.

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Journal Scientific Reports
Organisation Department of Ophthalmology
de Vries, V.A. (Victor. A.), Bassil, F.L. (Fabiana L.), & Ramdas, W.D. (2020). The effects of intravitreal injections on intraocular pressure and retinal nerve fiber layer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Scientific Reports, 10(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-020-70269-7