To evaluate the occurrence of retinal pigment epithelial atrophy in patients with age-related macular degeneration undergoing anti–vascular endothelial growth factor therapy.
The study is a retrospective review. Eligible were patients with age-related macular degeneration and choroidal neovascular membranes treated with anti–vascular endothelial growth factor between October 2007 and February 2011; they were followed for >3 months, with fundus photographs and fluorescein angiography at baseline and with autofluorescence and near-infrared autofluorescence images at baseline and follow-up. Demographics, visual acuity, the type of choroidal neovascular membranes, the number of treatments performed, and the length of follow-up were recorded. Autofluorescence and near-infrared autofluorescence images were evaluated for the presence or absence of areas of reduced signal. A multilevel logistic regression model was used to investigate the factors that may be associated with “progression of atrophy” at follow-up, which was the primary outcome of this study.
Sixty-three patients (72 eyes) were followed for a median of 16 months (range, 3–36 months). Atrophy at baseline was observed in 47% (34/72) of eyes; progression of atrophy occurred in 62% (45/72) of eyes at the last visit. The number of anti–vascular endothelial growth factor injections received was statistically significantly associated with the progression of atrophy at follow-up (odds ratio, 1.35; 95% confidence interval, 1.05–1.73; P = 0.02).
Atrophy was frequently observed in patients with age-related macular degeneration and choroidal neovascular membranes undergoing anti–vascular endothelial growth factor therapy.