The Effect of Intravitreal Injection of Erythropoietin in Treatment of Nonarteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy

Document Type : Original Article (s)


1 Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine AND Isfahan Eye Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Resident, Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

3 Student, Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NA-AION) is a disease with serious complications that already does not have any standard treatment. Some studies and experiences had shown that intravitreal erythropoietin injection has a neuroprotective effect. But there are some different and inconsistent results in those studies. So, the aim of this study was determining the effect of intravitreal injection of erythropoietin in treatment of the disease.Methods: In a clinical trial study, 40 eyes (from 38 patients) were selected and randomly divided in two groups. In the first group, 2000 IU erythropoietin was injected in vitreous and the second group did not receive erythropoietin. Visual acuity and visual field were measured before and three months after the treatment and compared between the two groups.Findings: The mean visual acuity was improved in the treatment group (P < 0.001) but did not differed in the control group (P = 0.270). In addition, the pattern standard deviation was improved in the treatment group (P = 0.047) but did not statistically change in the control group (P = 0.130).Conclusion: Intravitreal injection of erythropoietin in patients with nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy leads to remarkable and significant improvement of visual acuity and field 3 months after the injection. So, this treatment strategy is advised in patients with suitable condition and without any contraindication by ophthalmologists. To evaluate the long-term effects, further studies are recommended.


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