To describe visual outcome and prognostic indicators in neovascular age-related macular degeneration with advanced visual loss at the initiation of anti–vascular endothelial growth factor therapy.Methods:
A retrospective chart review was performed on a consecutive series of 1,410 patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration treated with anti–vascular endothelial growth factor therapy at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Subjects were included if at the initiation of therapy they had 20/200 or worse visual acuity (VA) with no other visually limiting eye disease and a minimum follow-up of 6 months. The change in VA at 6 months and 12 months was assessed compared with baseline. Visual improvement/worsening was defined as at least ± 0.3 logMAR (equivalent to 15 ETDRS [Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study] letters) change. Other factors for analysis included number of injections received, drug type, and various clinical and imaging findings.Results:
One hundred thirty-one cases met the study criteria, and 97 were followed for 12 months. Baseline VA was 1.38 logMAR (20/480 Snellen equivalent). Mean VA change (logMAR) consisted of an improvement of 0.23 (P < 0.0001) at 6 months and 0.17 (P = 0.003) at 12 months. At 12 months, VA improved in 45% and worsened in 20%. Among subjects with baseline VA worse than 20/400, VA improved in 57% and worsened in 20%. On univariate analysis at either the 6 months or 12 months follow-up, visual improvement was associated with retinal hemorrhage (P = 0.03) and subretinal fluid (P = 0.02), whereas visual worsening was associated with retinal pigment epithelial detachment (P = 0.04) and intraretinal fluid (P = 0.01). With multivariate analysis, visual improvement was predicted by both a larger number of injections received (P = 0.001) and a poorer baseline VA (P = 0.001). Injection medication type did not influence outcome.Conclusion:
Statistically significant visual improvement was observed in association with anti–vascular endothelial growth factor therapy in patients with severe neovascular age-related macular degeneration, even in patients whose initial VA was worse than that studied in large anti–vascular endothelial growth factor clinical trials. Numerous clinically discernable or potentially modifiable factors may influence outcome in such patients.