Jetrea: New intraocular injection

8:44 PM

Optometrists or students that are blog readers, this post is for you!  I just found out about an interesting new ophthalmic medication that is undergoing clinical research.  Jetrea is a new intravitreal injection designed for patients with symptomatic vitreomacular traction.  The medication is a specific enzyme lysing agent, designed to breakdown the connection between the vitreous and the retina underneath.  This injection could be utilized in patients with vitreal traction resulting in an epiretinal membrane or an impending macular hole.  At this point, research is early, and is just starting to be used in research surgery centers.


Photo via retinadoctor.com.au

This OCT image shows the vitreous (thin superior line) attaching erroneously to the macula and distorting upward. There is a risk for a macular hole to develop if the traction continues.
Prior to Jetrea, removing a symptomatic epiretinal membrane could only be done with delicate surgery, involving small forceps lifting and peeling the membrane off.  Makes me glad I'm an optometrist and not an ophthalmologist.
Photo via spirehealthcare.com

Like all injections, there is always a risk for complications.  These can range from new vitreal floaters or hemorrhages, to a retinal tear or detachment.  Due to the complicated nature of treating vitreomacular traction, most surgeons will chose to monitor patients unless vision is greatly compromised.  Prior to Jetrea, a membrane peel or other treatment for traction typically offered minimal if any improvement in vision.  We will be learning more soon if this injection can help return visual acuity to greater levels!

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2 comments

  1. Jetrea is already approved by the FDA and doctors are currently able to order the medication (since this past Monday). As far as insurance plans covering the injection... that's another story.

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  2. Thanks for the update! Doctors at Duke in my area reported that they are still waiting for their first patients to report results with this medication, so I should be getting more information in the near future!

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