Intravitreal ranibizumab (Lucentis) in the treatment of retinal angiomatous proliferation (RAP)

Lazaros Konstantinidis, Evangelia Mameletzi, Irmela Mantel, Jean-Antoine Pournaras, Leonidas Zografos, Aude Ambresin
Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 2009, 247 (9): 1165-71

BACKGROUND: Retinal angiomatous proliferation (RAP) is a distinct variant of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The aim of this study is to evaluate the functional and anatomic outcome after intravitreal ranibizumab (Lucentis) treatment in patients with RAP.

METHODS: Prospective study of consecutive patients with newly diagnosed or recurrent RAP treated with intravitreal ranibizumab at the Jules Gonin Eye Hospital between March 2006 and December 2007. Baseline and monthly follow-up visits included best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), fundus exam and optical coherence tomography. Fluorescein and indocyanine green angiography were performed at baseline and repeated at least every 3 months.

RESULTS: Thirty-one eyes of 31 patients were treated with 0.5 mg of intravitreal ranibizumab for RAP between March 2006 and December 2007. The mean age of the patients was 82.6 years (SD:4.9). The mean number of intravitreal injections administered for each patient was 5 (SD: 2.4, range 3 to 12). The mean follow up was 13.4 months (SD: 3, range 10 to 22). The baseline mean logMAR BCVA was 0.72 (SD: 0.45) (decimal equivalent of 0.2). The mean logMAR BCVA was improved significantly (P < 0.0001) at the last follow-up to 0.45, SD: 0.3 (decimal equivalent 0.35). The visual acuity (VA) improved by a mean of 2.7 lines (SD 2.5). Mean baseline central macular thickness (CMT) was 376 microm, and decreased significantly to a mean of 224 microm (P < 0.001) at the last follow-up. Mean reduction of CMT was 152 microm (SD: 58). An average of 81.5% of the total visual improvement and 85% of the total CMT reduction occurred during the first post-operative month after one intravitreal injection of ranibizumab. During follow-up, an RPE tear occurred in one eye (3.2%) of the study group. No injection complications or systemic drug-related side-effects were noted during the follow-up period.

CONCLUSIONS: Intravitreal ranibizumab injections appeared to be an effective and safe treatment for RAP, resulting in visual gain and reduction in macular thickness. Further long-term studies to evaluate the efficacy of intravitreal ranibizumab in RAP are warranted.

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