Long-term longitudinal study of patients treated with ranibizumab for neovascular age-related macular degeneration

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Purpose of reviewTo review the current literature regarding long-term treatment beyond 2 years with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibition for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nv-AMD).Recent findingsOnly few studies of anti-VEGF treatment for nv-AMD exist beyond 2 years, and the number of patients followed for 4 years or longer is small. The results of studies show that the majority of patients with nv-AMD can preserve visual acuity compared with baseline, subgroups reveal large variations in visual benefit. Approximately 20–30% of patients seem to respond poorly to the treatment, and 20% obtain a condition with inactivity and good results. The majority of patients will need continuous active treatment. Long-term decline of visual acuity reflects the natural progression of the disease, however, insufficient treatment cannot be excluded leaving a potential for further improvement. Close follow-up to detect recurrent activity of nv-AMD and activity in fellow eye is important. Definitive evidence of systemic side-effects is lacking, but long-term VEGF inhibition seems to be tolerated well with few ocular and systemic complications.SummaryThe majority of patients with nv-AMD can preserve visual acuity and expect long-term treatment beyond 2 years. Ocular complications and systemic adverse events remain few.

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