Ocriplasmin for Vitreomacular Traction
The Benefits of Ocriplasmin (Jetrea) Injection for Vitreomacular Traction
Vitreomacular traction is a rare condition in which the central macular area of the retina is pulled by shrinkage in the vitreous jelly of the eye. This condition causes symptoms such as Metamorphopsia or distorted and blurred vision.
The standard treatment for this condition is a surgical procedure known as vitrectomy in which the vitreous gel is removed from the middle of the eye. There is now an alternative solution that involves Intravitreal injections of ocriplasmin (Jetrea), which is a recombinant protease enzyme.
The MIVI-TRUST Study Group conducted two double-blind studies to compare placebo injections with injections of ocriplasmin in individuals with vitreomacular adhesion. It was found that 26.5 percent of patients who were injected with this enzyme experienced resolution of vitreomacular adhesion, whereas only 10.1 percent of the patients who were injected with a placebo experienced resolution of the disorder.
About 40 percent of the patients with ocriplasmin-injected eyes experienced closure of macular holes which is one of the complications of vitreomacular traction. In comparison, only about 10 percent of patients with placebo-injected eyes experienced the same results.
The conclusion of the study is that patients with ocriplasmin-injected eyes experienced considerably greater resolution of vitreomacular traction and the closure of macular holes than patients who were injected with a placebo.
By resolving vitreomacular traction with ocriplasmin injections, many patients were able to experience restored vision. It is hopeful that ocriplasmin injections for resolving vitreomacular traction will provide an early treatment option for this condition.
Vitreomacular traction is typically caused by the normal aging process. As we age, the vitreous jelly of the eye shrinks, which eventually causes the retina to separate from the eye wall. There are certain areas of the retina in which the vitreous jelly adheres to more than other areas.
This causes a pull in certain areas of the retina, which can lead to swelling in the macula of the eye. The condition tends to worsen over time causing a number of potential symptoms.
Patients with the condition may see a blurred patch in the center of their vision; a general “graying” of their central vision; distortion of straight lines which is called metamorphopsia; and a loss in their color vision.
This disorder is treated with vitrectomy surgery with manual release of the traction. Vitrectomy is an invasive procedure which has its own complications such as cataract formation.
If you experience any symptoms that are interfering with your eyesight, it is important to schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist who can perform the appropriate diagnostic tests. Early treatment offers the best results since symptoms are likely to become worse over time if left untreated.
Intravitreal injection of Ocriplasmin may provide a non-surgical option for relief of vitreomacular traction symptoms.