Association of Intravitreal Injections With Blood Pressure Increase: The Following Excitement and Anxiety Response Under Intravitreal Injection Study.

Berger, Vanessa; Munk, Marion R.; Lersch, Friedrich; Wolf, Sebastian; Ebneter, Andreas; Zinkernagel, Martin S. (2019). Association of Intravitreal Injections With Blood Pressure Increase: The Following Excitement and Anxiety Response Under Intravitreal Injection Study. JAMA ophthalmology, 137(1), pp. 87-90. American Medical Association 10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2018.4892

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Despite the unquestionable effectiveness of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy (VEGF), there is ongoing controversy about potential systemic adverse effects. Besides the direct adverse effects of anti-VEGF agents, other factors associated with the injection itself, such as perioperative blood pressure fluctuations, may contribute to adverse events.


To determine blood pressure fluctuations during intravitreal injections.

Design, Setting, and Participants

Prospective observational study at a tertiary referral center (Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital Bern, Bern, Switzerland). Consecutive patients scheduled for intravitreal injections were recruited. Data were analyzed between October 2017 and January 2018.

Main Outcomes and Measures

Systolic and diastolic blood pressure, pulse rate, and oxygen saturation were recorded before, during, and after the intravitreal injection. An anxiety questionnaire was completed by all participants. Multivariate regression analysis was used to investigate potential factors associated with blood pressure rise during injections.


Two hundred one patients (92 women and 109 men) were included in this study, with a mean age of 68 years (range, 18-93 years). Mean (SD) systolic blood pressure increased from a baseline of 150 (20) mm Hg to 162 (24) mm Hg following the preparation procedure to 168 (24) mm Hg during the injection (P < .001). Mean (SD) diastolic blood pressure increased from 78 (14) mm Hg to 83 (37) mm Hg to 83 (16) mm Hg, respectively (P = .009). Mean (SD) pulse frequency increased from 76 (13) bpm to 80 (13) bpm (P = .005). In total, 23 patients (11%) had a systolic blood pressure greater than 200 mm Hg. This subgroup of patients had a mean (SD) perioperative systolic blood pressure increase from 182 (19) mm Hg to 214 (12) mm Hg, resulting in an increase of 32 (20) mm Hg (P < .001). Age and anxiety were to be next associated with systolic blood pressure rise.

Conclusions and Relevance

The intravitreal injection process is associated with a transient increase in blood pressure. Most of the increase occurs following the preparation before the injection itself. This may constitute a risk factor for cardiovascular or cerebrovascular complications during treatment and could be of particular relevance in patients at high risk for such events and those receiving frequent injections. Future work may be needed to determine whether, in patients at risk for cardiovascular or cerebrovascular events, perioperative blood pressure monitoring or antihypertensive therapy needs to be considered.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Ophthalmology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Anaesthesiology (DINA) > Clinic and Policlinic for Anaesthesiology and Pain Therapy

UniBE Contributor:

Berger, Vanessa, Munk, Marion, Lersch, Friedrich, Wolf, Sebastian (B), Ebneter, Andreas, Zinkernagel, Martin Sebastian


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




American Medical Association




Sebastian Wolf

Date Deposited:

28 Nov 2018 13:00

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:31

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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