To determine the efficacy of the treat and extend (TAE) protocol with intravitreal bevacizumab (IVB) for managing diabetic macular edema (DME).
Retrospective, single-center study.
For this retrospective study, 42 eyes of 42 patients were initially treated with 3 consecutive monthly IVB injections (loading phase), after which they were selected for different additional therapies. For the TAE protocol, the baseline treatment interval was selected to be 8 weeks and was sequentially lengthened by 2 weeks if the central macular thickness (CMT) was <300 μm at 2 consecutive examinations.
Among the 42 eyes, 8 eyes (19.0%) received the TAE treatment for 2 years. The BCVA was improved significantly from 0.37 ± 0.04 before treatment to 0.19 ± 0.04 logMAR units at 2 years after the TAE determined IVB injections (P < .05). The ratio of eyes with a gain of the BCVA by more than 2 lines was 37.5%. The CMT was significantly reduced from 515.4 ± 75.5 to 303.6 ± 45.0 μm after 2 years (P < .01). The mean number of TAE injection was 8.8 and the mean injection interval was 11.0 weeks.
After the loading phase, 19.0% of patients can be treated with the TAE protocol. Although significant visual improvements were obtained after the TAE protocol, it does not apply to every DME case.