purpose: to evaluate the effect of a single intravitreal bevacizumab injection on visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and optical coherence tomography-measured central macular thickness in eyes with macular edema from branch retinal vein occlusion. methods: seventeen eyes of 17 patients with macular edema from unilateral branch retinal vein occlusion were treated with a single bevacizumab injection. patients were submitted to a complete evaluation including best corrected visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and optical coherence tomography measurements before treatment and one and three months after injection. visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and optical coherence tomography measurements were compared to baseline values. results: mean visual acuity measurement improved from 0.77 logmar at baseline to 0.613 logmar one month after injection (p=0.0001) but worsened to 0.75 logmar after three months. contrast sensitivity test demonstrated significant improvement at spatial frequencies of 3, 6, 12 and 18 cycles/degree one month after injection and at the spatial frequency of 12 cycles/degree three months after treatment. mean ± standard deviation baseline central macular thickness (552 ± 150 μm) reduced significantly one month (322 ± 127 μm, p=0.0001) and three months (439 ± 179 μm, p=0.01) after treatment. conclusions: bevacizumab injection improves visual acuity and contrast sensitivity and reduces central macular thickness one month after treatment. visual acuity returns to baseline levels at the 3-month follow-up, but some beneficial effect of the treatment is still present at that time, as evidenced by optical coherence tomography-measured central macular thickness and contrast sensitivity measurements.