INTRAVITREAL DEXAMETHASONE IMPLANT AS ADJUVANT TREATMENT FOR BEVACIZUMAB- AND RANIBIZUMAB-RESISTANT NEOVASCULAR AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION: A Prospective Pilot Study

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Abstract

Purpose:

To study the benefit of intravitreal dexamethasone implant in the management of neovascular age-related macular degeneration resistant to bevacizumab and ranibizumab.

Methods:

Patients with persistent macular fluid on optical coherence tomography despite monthly treatment with at least three consecutive bevacizumab injections followed by at least three ranibizumab injections were prospectively enrolled. A single dexamethasone implant was administered followed by intravitreal ranibizumab 1 week later. Ranibizumab was continued afterward on an as-needed basis. Main outcomes were improvement in central retinal thickness and best-corrected visual acuity.

Results:

Nineteen patients (19 eyes) were enrolled. There was no significant change in best-corrected visual acuity over 6 months. Greatest reduction in mean central retinal thickness, from 295.2 μm to 236.2 μm, occurred 1 month after dexamethasone implant (P < 0.0001). By Month 6, mean central retinal thickness was 287.3 μm (P = 0.16). Eyes with only intraretinal fluid (13 eyes) achieved a fluid-free macula. Eyes with predominantly subretinal fluid (6 eyes) did not improve central retinal thickness and continued monthly ranibizumab. Mean baseline intraocular pressure was 13.2 mmHg, which peaked at 15.6 mmHg by Month 2 (P = 0.004).

Conclusion:

Intravitreal dexamethasone implant improved only macular intraretinal fluid in eyes with neovascular age-related macular degeneration resistant to bevacizumab and ranibizumab. However, this treatment had a limited duration.

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