Date: 22 Feb 2013

Retreatment by series of three intravitreal injections of ranibizumab in neovascular age-related macular degeneration: long-term outcomes

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Abstract

Background

The purpose of this study was to analyze the results of a retreatment regimen using a series of three monthly intravitreal ranibizumab injections (IVR), instead of one injection, and to determine if this treatment scheme can safely reduce the number of injections and the number of visits compared to the widely used PrONTO study retreatment protocol.

Methods

>Sixty-six eyes of 60 patients with exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD) were included. The mean follow-up period was 27 months (range, 11–48 months). The mean age of the patients was 79 years (range, 65–93 years). All patients received three initial IVRs, and were retreated with a new series of three monthly IVRs when needed. The retreatment criteria were: visual loss of ≥5 ETDRS letters and/or signs of retinal exudation on OCT, new macular hemorrhage, expansion of new vessels. Follow-up visits were conducted 1 month after the last IVR of each series, and renewed on a monthly basis when no retreatment was required. Each visit included a comprehensive ophthalmological examination with BCVA measurement and OCT examination.

Results

Mean VA did not improve during follow-up (53.18 letters at the initial visit versus 54.18 at the last visit, p > 0.05). However, VA stabilized or improved in 66.6 % of the eyes. A gain of ≥15 letters was observed in 28.8 % of eyes. On average, over 2 years, the number of IVRs was five per year, and the number of follow-up visits was four per year.

Conclusion

Even if no gain in VA is observed after 2 years, this treatment regimen reduces the number of IVRs and control visits. The proportion of patients with a VA gain of three lines or more was smaller than the one reported in the original PrONTO study, but higher than the rates reported in other studies implementing the PrONTO recommendations in everyday practice. The benefit of the three IVR retreatment scheme should be prospectively studied and compared to the PRN regimen.