Pterygia: pathogenesis and the role of subconjunctival bevacizumab in treatment
A pterygium is a very common conjunctival degenerative condition. It has been well established that there are different factors that are interrelated and involved in the growth of pterygia. Historically described more as a degenerative process, inflammation and fibrovascular proliferation have proven to be very important factors. Many studies have shown VEGF to be increased in the pathogenesis of pterygia. There are a variety of options for the management of pterygium. The over expression of VEGF in pterygium tissue led us to develop anti-angiogenic/anti-VEGF therapy which could induce regression of blood vessels and hence retard progression of pterygium. The role of angiogenesis and of VEGF in ocular pathology is established including in corneal neovascularization, specifically in pterygial tissue. Evidence suggests that local bevacizumab may be effective in treatment of ocular surface neovascularization. Currently, data in the use of subconjunctival bevacizumab in the treatment of pterygia are not conclusive. New anti-angiogenic therapies will hopefully focus more on facilitating delivery into tissue, increasing the duration of effect while continuing to minimize adverse side effects.