Inhibition of angiogenesis is critical in the prevention and treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Pathologic states such as hypoxia, ischemia, or inflammation may tip the balance of proangiogenic and antiangiogenic factors in favor of the formation of new blood vessels. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is pivotal in ocular angiogenesis because it is highly selective for endothelial cells, hypoxia drives its synthesis, it diffuses to its target, and it affects multiple components of angiogenesis such as endothelial cell proliferation, survival, and migration. Basic and clinical research implicates VEGF in the pathogenesis of choroidal neovascularization (CNV), although other candidate factors involved with regulation of angiogenesis exist. Intravitreal drugs that block VEGF have revolutionized the care of patients with neovascular AMD, decreasing growth and leakage from choroidal neovascular lesions and preventing moderate and severe vision loss associated with this process. Financial Disclosure(s): Proprietary or commercial disclosure may be found in the CME frontmatter.
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