JPM, Vol. 11, Pages 1024: Association between Retinal Thickness Variability and Visual Acuity Outcome during Maintenance Therapy Using Intravitreal Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Agents for Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Journal of Personalized Medicine doi: 10.3390/jpm11101024
Timothy Y. Y. Lai
Ricky Y. K. Lai
Previous studies based on clinical trial data have demonstrated that greater fluctuations in retinal thickness during the course of intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) therapy for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) is associated with poorer visual acuity outcomes. However, it was unclear whether similar findings would be observed in real-world clinical settings. This study aimed to evaluate the association between retinal thickness variability and visual outcomes in eyes receiving anti-VEGF therapy for nAMD using pro re nata treatment regimen. A total of 64 eyes which received intravitreal anti-VEGF therapy (bevacizumab, ranibizumab or aflibercept) for the treatment of nAMD were evaluated. Variability in spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) central subfield thickness (CST) was calculated from the standard deviation (SD) values of all follow-up visits after three loading doses from month 3 to month 24. Eyes were divided into quartiles based on the OCT CST variability values and the mean best-corrected visual acuity values at 2 years were compared. At baseline, the mean ± SD logMAR visual acuity and CST were 0.59 ± 0.39 and 364 ± 113 µm, respectively. A significant correlation was found between CST variability and visual acuity at 2 years (Spearman’s ρ = 0.54, p &lt; 0.0001), indicating that eyes with lower CST variability had better visual acuity at 2 years. Eyes with the least CST variability were associated with the highest mean visual acuity improvement at 2 years (quartile 1: +9.7 letters, quartile 2: +1.1 letters, quartile 3: −2.5 letters, quartile 4: −9.5 letters; p = 0.018). No significant difference in the number of anti-VEGF injections was found between the four CST variability quartile groups (p = 0.21). These findings showed that eyes undergoing anti-VEGF therapy for nAMD with more stable OCT CST variability during the follow-up period were associated with better visual outcomes. Clinicians should consider adopting treatment strategies to reduce CST variability during the treatment course for nAMD.
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