Esophageal Ulcer After Intravitreal Ranibizumab Injection in a Patient With Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Xin Qing Li, Ke Wei Zhu, Jun Lai, Jian Wu, Xiao Fang Guo


Ranibizumab is a monoclonal antibody fragment targeted against vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) A isoform (VEGF-A). This study aimed to report a case of esophageal ulcer that developed soon after intravitreal ranibizumab injection in a patient with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). A 53-year-old male patient diagnosed with AMD received ranibizumab through intravitreal injection in the left eye. Mild dysphagia occurred 3 days after receiving intravitreal ranibizumab injection for the second time. The dysphagia exacerbated remarkably and was accompanied by hemoptysis 1 day after receiving ranibizumab for the third time. Severe dysphagia accompanied by intense retrosternal pain and pant emerged after injecting ranibizumab for the fourth time. An esophageal ulcer was observed through ultrasound gastroscopy, covered with fibrinous tissue, and surrounded by flushing and congestive mucosae. The patient received proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy combined with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) after discontinuation of ranibizumab. The dysphagia and retrosternal pain were gradually relieved after treatment. Afterwards, the esophageal ulcer has not relapsed since permanent discontinuation of ranibizumab. To our best knowledge, this was the first case of esophageal ulcer related to intravitreal ranibizumab injection. Our study indicated that VEGF-A played a potential role in the development of esophageal ulceration.

Gastroenterol Res. 2023;16(2):118-124


Esophageal ulcer; Ranibizumab; Age-related macular degeneration; Vascular endothelial growth factor; Bevacizumab

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