Purpose: To investigate the effect of intravitreal bevacizumab on the visual and anatomic outcome of patients with exudative age-related macular degeneration presenting with good visual acuity (VA).
Methods: A file review was performed for all consecutive patients with newly diagnosed exudative age-related macular degeneration and initial VA of ≥20/40 treated in 2005 to 2010 and followed for at least 6 months. Treatment consisted of 3 loading doses of intravitreal bevacizumab every 6 weeks and was repeated when fluid or hemorrhage was present.
Results: The cohort included 130 patients (150 eyes). Mean follow-up was 20.2 ± 13.2 months, and mean number of injections was 11.3 ± 6.2. At the last examination, VA was stable or improved in 106 eyes (70.7%); 11 eyes (7.3%) lost ≥3 lines. Mean logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution VA measured 0.22 ± 0.1 (0–0.3) at presentation and 0.22 ± 0.2 (0–1.3) at the last visit. Corresponding values for central macular thickness were 267 ± 75 μm (137–562) and 226 ± 75 μm (75–568) (P = 0.14). The most frequent complication (18 eyes, 12%) was corneal epithelial defects.
Conclusion: Prompt intravitreal bevacizumab treatment for newly diagnosed exudative age-related macular degeneration in patients with good initial best-corrected visual acuity is associated with sustained or improved vision and a good safety profile. Attempts should be made to expedite the access of these patients to treatment, regardless of initial VA.