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Management of primary pterygium with intra-lesional injection of 5 flurouracil and bevacizumab (Avastin)



To assess the efficacy of combined 5FU and Avastin injections in the treatment of primary pterygium


Sixteen eyes with primary pterygium received intralesional 5 fluorouracil and Avastin (2.5–5 mg) injections every 2 weeks for a maximum of five injections. Fourteen eyes of 14 patients received five injections, one eye received three injections and one eye received two injections. All eyes were followed at monthly intervals for 3 months after last injection. Tissue was obtained by surgical excision of primary pterygium from four eyes who received injections and three eyes with primary pterygium who did not receive injections (control) and subjected to immunohistological examination for beta fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), von-Willebrand factor (vWF), lymphatic vessel endothelial hyaluronan receptor (LYVE-1) and collagen-I.


Pterygium progression was arrested in all patients. Sixty-two percent of patients had improvement of redness while 89% had reduced thickness of the lesion. VEGF, bFGF, EGF, vWF, LYVE-1 and collagen-I were all reduced in the injected samples.


The injection of 5 fluorouracil and Avastin act synergistically to arrest progression and induce atrophy in primary pterygium. This is related to the effect of agents on fibroblasts, collagen, and vascular tissues. Such medical intervention is a safe and viable option in the management of primary pterygium though excision of residual tissue is still required in some cases. Longer follow up is needed to ascertain whether this will reduce the recurrence rate following excision.

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Correspondence to Harminder S. Dua.

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