Reading Speed Improvements in Retinal Vein Occlusion After Ranibizumab Treatment

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Treatment of macular edema secondary to retinal vein occlusion with ranibizumab has been shown to improve visual acuity compared with macular laser or observation. It is important to determine whether these visual acuity improvements translate into measurable improvements in visual function.


To examine the benefit of ranibizumab (Lucentis) on measured reading speed, a direct performance assessment, through 6 months in eyes of patients with macular edema after retinal vein occlusion (RVO).


Two multicenter, double-masked, phase 3 trials in which participants with macular edema after branch RVO or central RVO were randomized 1:1:1 to monthly sham, ranibizumab, 0.3 mg, or ranibizumab, 0.5 mg, for 6 months.


Community- and academic-based ophthalmology practices specializing in retinal diseases.


Seven hundred eighty-nine eyes of 789 participants who were at least aged 18 years with macular edema secondary to retinal vein occlusion in the branch vein occlusion (BRAVO) and central vein occlusion (CRUISE) trials.


Eyes were randomized 1:1:1 to 1 of 3 groups for monthly injections for 6 months: sham (132 in BRAVO and 130 in CRUISE), intravitreal ranibizumab, 0.3 mg (134 in BRAVO and 132 in CRUISE), and intravitreal ranibizumab, 0.5 mg (131 in BRAVO and 130 in CRUISE). Patients were able to receive macular laser after 3 months if they met prespecified criteria.

Main Outcomes and Measures

Reading speed in the study eye was measured with enlarged text (letter size equivalent to approximately 20/1500 at the test distance) at baseline and 1, 3, and 6 months. The number of correctly read words per minute (wpm) was reported. The reading speed test requires a sixth-grade reading level and does not account for literacy or cognitive state.


In patients with branch RVO, the mean gain for the 0.5-mg group was 31.3 wpm compared with 15.0 wpm in sham-treated eyes (difference, 16.3 wpm; P = .007) at 6 months. In patients with central RVO, the mean gain for the 0.5-mg group was 20.5 wpm compared with 8.1 wpm in sham-treated eyes (difference, 12.4 wpm; P = .01) at 6 months. A gain of 15 or more letters of best-corrected visual acuity letter score corresponded to an increase in reading speed of 12.3 wpm and 15.8 wpm in patients with branch and central RVO, respectively.

Conclusions and Relevance

These results suggest that patients with macular edema after RVO treated monthly with ranibizumab are more likely to have improvements in reading speed of the affected eyes through 6 months compared with sham treatment. These results demonstrate the relevance of the treatment benefit to functional visual gain.

Trial Registration Identifier: NCT00486018 and NCT00485836

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