Effect of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy on wet age-related macular degeneration and its recurrence factors

Authors: Cheng Zifang,  Wang Yusheng,  Wang Haiyan,  Sun Dongjie,  Zhu Jinting,  Li Manhong

DOI: 10.3760/cma.j.cn115989-20201104-00743
Published 2021-01-10

Cite as Chin J Exp Ophthalmol, 2021,39(01): 20-26.

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Abstract                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Objective

To evaluate the effect of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (wAMD) and investigate the recurrence factors.

Methods

In this case-control study, 40 eyes of 38 patients with wAMD treated by anti-VEGF therapy in Xijing Hospital from October 2015 to April 2017 were included.Ranibizumab or conbercept was consecutively intravitreally injected monthly under 3+ pro re nata (PRN) regimen.All included patients were followed-up at least 12 months.The best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was expressed in logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (LogMAR) units.Optical coherence tomography (OCT) was used to observe the morphologic characteristics of macula and measure the central retina thickness (CRT). Patients were divided into recurrence and recurrence-free group based on whether recurrence occurred during follow-up.Potential associated factors with recurrence after treatment were analyzed by multivariate logistic regression analysis.Meanwhile, the morphological and functional response were identified at 1 month after loading phase as well as at last follow-up visit.This study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of Shanghai General Hospital (No.2016KY243) and written informed consent was obtained from each patient prior to receiving injection.

Results

All the operative eyes showed retinal effusion absorption at least once, and 21 (52.5%) eyes had relapse during follow-up.The patients with lower BCVA (LogMAR) value at the first absorption time had higher risk of recurrence (OR=16.7, 95%CI=1.22-100, P<0.05). The eyes in the recurrence group received more times of treatment than eyes in the recurrence-free group (5.8±2.3 vs 3.5±1.4, t=3.64, P<0.05). However, there was no significance between the two groups in BCVA change before and after treatment (t=-1.52, P>0.05). In the recurrence group, the BCVA (LogMAR) and CRT at last visit were 0.73±0.34 and (187.2±81.7)μm respectively, while were significantly improved in comparison with 0.81±0.37 and (234.2±74.5)μm at the relapse time (t=2.14, 2.62; both at P<0.05). There were 87.5% (35/40) eyes showed good morphological responses at 1 month after the loading phase while 12.5% (5/40) eyes presented poor morphological responses, the retinal effusion was absorbed after additional (3.2±2.2) times of injections.The BCVA of eyes with a good morphological response at 1 month following loading phase was better than that at the first retinal effusion absorption time (t=-2.23, P<0.05). Average CRT at last visit was significantly decreased in comparison with the baseline CRT (Z=-4.62, P<0.01).

Conclusions

For wet AMD patients, the anti-VEGF treatment is safe and effective in the short term, while there is still a high rate of recurrence.More attention should be paid to eyes with better vision at the first time of retinal effusion absorption which may have more chance to experience recurrence.Patients need long-term follow-up after treatment to prevent recurrence.In addition, the complete loading treatment is needed for patients who have a good morphological response after the first retinal effusion absorbed.

Key words:

Age-related macular degeneration/drug therapy; Vascular endothelial growth factor; Angiogenesis inhibitors/therapeutic use; Antibodies, monoclonal/therapeutic use; Recurrence

Contributor Information

Cheng Zifang
Department of Ophthalmology, Eye Institute of Chinese PLA, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an 710032, China
Wang Yusheng
Department of Ophthalmology, Eye Institute of Chinese PLA, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an 710032, China
Wang Haiyan
Wang Haiyan is working at Xi’an People’s Hospital (Xi’an Fourth Hospital), Shaanxi Eye Hospital, Xi’an 710004, China
Sun Dongjie
Department of Ophthalmology, Eye Institute of Chinese PLA, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an 710032, China
Zhu Jinting
Department of Ophthalmology, Eye Institute of Chinese PLA, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an 710032, China
Li Manhong
Department of Ophthalmology, Eye Institute of Chinese PLA, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an 710032, China
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Updated: January 26, 2021 — 9:23 am