Anti vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapy is an established treatment for various retinal diseases. Long-term data on injection frequencies and visual acuity (VA), however, are still rare.Methods
Five-year analysis of real-life VA developments and injection patterns from 2072 patients (2577 eyes; 33 187 injections) with chronically active disease undergoing pro-re-nata treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic macular oedema (DME), retinal vein occlusion (RVO) and myopic choroidal neovascularisation (CNV).Results
Maximum mean VA gain in year 1 was+5.2 letters in AMD, +6.2 in DME, +10 in RVO and+7.2 in myopic CNV. Over 5 years, however, VA in patients with AMD declined. By year 5, 34% of patients with AMD had experienced VA loss of >15 letters, 56% had remained stable and 10% had gained >15 letters. Long-term VA developments in DME and RVO were more favourable with 81% of DME and 79% of patients with RVO gaining or maintaining vision at 5 years. In AMD, median injection frequency was six in year 1 and between four and five in consecutive years. In DME and RVO, median injection frequency was six in year 1 but lower compared with AMD in consecutive years. Injection frequency in DME was weakly associated with patient age (rs=0.1; p=0.03).Conclusions
In AMD, the initial VA gain was not maintained long term despite higher injection numbers compared with DME, RVO and myopic CNV. The presented real-world data provide a peer-group-based estimate of VA developments and injection frequencies for counselling patients undergoing long-term anti-VEGF therapy.