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Management and Outcomes for Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Analysis of United States Electronic Health Records.

Ophthalmology 2020 September
PURPOSE: To assess anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) management patterns and anatomic and visual acuity (VA) outcomes among patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) in United States clinical practice.

DESIGN: Retrospective observational cohort study.

PARTICIPANTS: Patients (N = 30 106) initiating intravitreal anti-VEGF treatment for nAMD between October 2009 and November 2016.

METHODS: Analysis of longitudinal electronic health records from USRetina.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Number of intravitreal injections, OCT examinations, and fluorescein angiography (FA) examinations per study eye during the first 12 months; corrected VA and central retinal thickness (CRT) at 12 months; and number of ophthalmologist visits, stratified by index anti-VEGF agent.

RESULTS: Over the first 12 months, patients made a mean of 8.1 (range, 1-39) ophthalmologist visits, received a mean of 6.0 (range, 1-27) anti-VEGF injections, and underwent 7.2 OCT and 5.3 FA examinations per study eye. For eyes with paired baseline and 12-month readings, mean CRT declined from 320 to 271 μm (mean change, -48 μm), and mean VA increased from 60.3 to 61.0 approximate Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) letters (mean change, +0.6 letters). Twelve months after initiating index treatment with bevacizumab, ranibizumab, and aflibercept, 19.3%, 15.8%, and 15.5% of eyes, respectively, showed greater than 10-letter gain, whereas 13.2%, 14.7%, and 14.4% of eyes, respectively, showed greater than 10-letter loss. Mean change from baseline VA at 12 months increased linearly with cumulative anti-VEGF injection count: +1.79 versus -0.95 approximate ETDRS letters for eyes receiving 7 or more injections versus fewer than 7 injections. Similarly, the magnitude of the reduction from baseline CRT at 12 months tended to increase linearly with increasing number of anti-VEGF injections. Multivariate linear regression analysis, adjusted for covariates, indicated a significant association between cumulative number of anti-VEGF injections and change from baseline in VA at 12 months, with each unit increase producing an estimated gain of 0.37 approximate ETDRS letters.

CONCLUSIONS: This analysis of combined morphologic and functional outcomes of anti-VEGF therapy, the largest conducted to date in nAMD, identified relatively low anti-VEGF injection frequencies, coupled with moderate anatomic and limited VA improvements, in United States clinical practice.

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