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Greatest vision gains occur during early stages of anti-VEGF treatment for wet AMD
Visual acuity improved in early stages of treatment with anti-VEGF injections for neovascular age-related macular degeneration, according to a study presented here at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology meeting.
“The most dramatic improvement in visual acuity is seen during the early treatment months, followed by a plateau,” Miin Roh, MD, and colleagues said in a poster presentation. “Injection frequency is a factor that can influence visual acuity for a longer period of time,” Roh told Ocular Surgery News.
The retrospective review included 109 eyes of 94 patients who had undergone at least 2 years of treatment with Avastin (bevacizumab, Genentech) and/or Lucentis (ranibizumab, Genentech) for neovascular AMD. Patients were separated into two groups: a high injection frequency group – eyes that had more than 18 injections in 2 years — and a low injection frequency group — eyes that had fewer than 18 injections in 2 years. Mean follow-up time was 40 months.
Treatment response was positive and visual acuity was more sustained in the first 3 years of treatment; however, at 4 years’ follow-up, visual acuity deteriorated in both groups, according to the presentation.
“We all know that anti-VEGF injections, such as Avastin and Lucentis, are not miracle drugs,” Roh told OSN. “A recent study published in Ophthalmology also shows that a lot of the patients in the real world who do not get 24 monthly injections do come back to baseline visual acuity. However, we do see that with the higher injection frequency group, you do get a benefit to 3 years.”
Hypertension and diabetes could be associated factors that influence the treatment benefit, Roh said.