Efficacy and safety of bevacizumab treatment for refractory brain edema: Case report

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This retrospective study investigated the efficacy and safety of bevacizumab treatment for refractory brain edema.


Between March 2009 and December 2015, bevacizumab was used to treat 59 cases of brain metastatic patients with refractory brain edema. The median dose of bevacizumab was 4.68 mg/kg (range 2.8–6.52 mg/kg). The clinical-pathological data, the efficacy, and the side effects of bevacizumab were recorded. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed before and after bevacizumab treatment. Tumor and edema volumes were measured separately.


The clinical symptoms of 50 out of 59 cases (84.74%) improved the day after the bevacizumab treatment, and the edema volumes of 55 (93.22%) cases were reduced after the bevacizumab treatment. The average edema volume was significantly reduced after bevacizumab treatment from 125,583.43 ± 14,093.27 to 71,613.42 ± 9473.42 mm3 (Mann–Whitney rank test, P < .01), and the average edema index was significantly reduced from 25.66 ± 11.54 to 17.87 ± 6.87 (Mann–Whitney rank test, P < .01). One patient died from a hemorrhage due to a cancerous-ulcer of the maxillary sinus. The main complication observed was hypertension, which was observed in 11 cases (18.6%).


The effective rate of bevacizumab for refractory brain edema is 84.74%. Hypertension was the main side effect of the bevacizumab treatment. Bevacizumab is an effective and relatively safe treatment for brain edema.

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