To evaluate 2-year visual acuity outcome of a treat-and-extend protocol of anti–vascular endothelial growth factor treatment in age-related macular degeneration.
In this prospective cohort study, 120 age-related macular degeneration patients with choroidal neovascularization received 3 initial monthly ranibizumab or bevacizumab injections; monthly injections were continued until there was no choroidal neovascularization activity (subretinal/intraretinal fluid, loss of >5 letters, or persistent/recurrent retinal hemorrhage). When there was no choroidal neovascularization activity, the interval to the next visit/injection was extended by 2 weeks to a maximum of 12 weeks. In the presence of choroidal neovascularization activity, this interval was shortened by 2 weeks. Main outcome measures included the percentage losing <15 letters and the mean visual acuity change after 12 months and 24 months.
Mean baseline visual acuity was 51.2 ± 12.1 Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study scores. Mean visual acuity change from baseline was +9.5 ± 10.9 and +8.0 ± 12.9 letters after 12 months and 24 months, respectively, with, on average, 8.6 ± 1.1 visits/injections in the first year and 5.6 ± 2.0 in the second year. After 12 months and 24 months, 97.5% and 95.0% of patients, respectively, lost <15 letters.
The “inject-and-extend” protocol—with fewer injections and visits—delivered outcomes comparable to those of the pivotal clinical trials of monthly ranibizumab.