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Impact of treat and extend criteria on proportions that can be extended after loading phase of 2 mg aflibercept therapy for neovascular age related macular degeneration: PRECISE Report 5.

Eye 2024 May 7
OBJECTIVE: To study the impact of definitions of various treatment extension criteria on the proportion of patients who could be extended at their first visit after the loading phase of 2 mg aflibercept therapy for neovascular age related macular degeneration (nAMD).

METHODS: Patients with nAMD initiated on the loading phase of three intravitreal doses of 2 mg aflibercept in routine clinical practice were recruited from December 2019 to August 2021. The response to the loading phase was assessed at approximately 8 weeks post-loading (up to 140 days from first injection) based on different definitions of response. The proportion of patients that qualify for interval extension based on different clinical trial criteria was also evaluated.

RESULTS: A total of 722 patients with visual acuity (VA) and optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans done at all 4 visits were included. Of these 32.4% of eyes responded with complete macular fluid resolution after the first injection with no recurrence through the loading phase (super-responders) while 26.9% had persistent macular fluid in all 4 visits (true non-responders). The rest were considered suboptimal responders. Change in VA showed marked variations within each of these categories of fluid resolution. For extension of next treatment interval, if presence of any macular fluid at the post-loading visit is the only criteria considered, about 50% could be extended to 8 weeks. If both VA worsening by ≥5 letters and a > 25 μm increase in central sub-field thickness (CST) are considered, 90% will be eligible for interval extension.

CONCLUSION: Clinical trial designs and pre-defined treatment extension/shortening criteria determine the proportion of patients requiring treatment in the post-loading visit. The short and long-term impact of interval extension immediate post-loading on visual outcome in clinical practice is unknown.

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