To analyse the incidence and baseline clinical characteristics of patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) treated with intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) injections in a defined UK region.Methods
A standardised dataset was collected prospectively using an electronic medical record (EMR) system from 1 January 2008 to 21 June 2012 for all patients living in Gloucestershire who received intravitreal anti-VEGF injections for nAMD.Results
Over the study period, 1207 eyes from 1033 patients began intravitreal anti-VEGF injections for nAMD. The annual incidence in the years after National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) technology appraisal 155 implementation was stable at 120 (95% CI 110 to 138) eyes or 100 (89 to 115) people per 100 000 population. The most common indication was occult choroidal neovascularisation (51%). Median baseline visual acuity (VA) was significantly higher for second treated than first treated eyes (66 and 56 letters, respectively; p<0.0001). Median baseline VA of fellow eyes increased from 47 (2008) to 67 letters (2012; p<0.005). The proportion of patients with baseline VA in the better eye ≥70 letters increased from 27.6% (2008) to 51.4% (2012; p<0.0001), while the proportion eligible at baseline for full or partial certificate of visual impairment decreased from 13.8% (2008) to 7.1% (2012; p<0.05).Conclusions
The incidence of patients undergoing anti-VEGF therapy for nAMD increased substantially following NICE approval of ranibizumab (August 2008), and has been stable since 2009. This equates to an annual UK incidence of 26 850 (21 320 to 32 440) eyes, similar to NICE estimates. Patients eligible for blindness certification before treatment decreased by half from 2008–2012. Prospective data collection using an EMR system is invaluable for efficient monitoring of real-world clinical care.