Purpose: To study prospectively the safety and efficacy of intravitreal bevacizumab for eyes with neovascular age-related macular degeneration with baseline visual acuity better than 70 letters (Snellen equivalent better than 20/40).
Methods: Patients with treatment-naive neovascular age-related macular degeneration were categorized prospectively into three groups according to baseline visual acuity: Group 1 (better than 70 letters), Group 2 (70 to 61 letters), and Group 3 (60 to 51 letters). Best-corrected visual acuity and central retinal thickness using optical coherence tomography were measured at baseline and at each follow-up visit. Intravitreal bevacizumab was administered according to an as-needed optical coherence tomography–guided regimen. Main outcome measure was mean best-corrected visual acuity for each group at 12 months.
Results: Each group included 30 patients (30 eyes). Improvement in central retinal thickness was similar among the 3 groups (P = 0.964). Mean letter gain in visual acuity at 12 months was +0.4, +3.8, and +4.2 for Groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively (P = 0.42). Mean best-corrected visual acuity at 12 months was 78.4 letters for Group 1, 70.0 letters for Group 2, and 61.1 letters for Group 3 (P < 0.001). All eyes in Group 1 (100%) avoided losing 15 letters of best-corrected visual acuity versus 83.3% in Group 2 and 80.0% in Group 3. This difference was significant only between Group 1 and Group 3 (P = 0.02).
Conclusion: Intravitreal bevacizumab for eyes with neovascular age-related macular degeneration and baseline visual acuity better than 70 letters was safe and able to maintain this vision over 12 months.