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      Development of Macular Atrophy in Patients with Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration Receiving Anti-VEGF Treatment

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          Abstract

          Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness. Late AMD can be classified into exudative (commonly known as wet AMD [wAMD]) or dry AMD, both of which may progress to macular atrophy (MA). MA causes irreversible vision loss and currently has no approved pharmacological treatment. The standard of care for wAMD is treatment with anti-vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs). However, recent evidence suggests that anti-VEGF treatment may play a role in the development of MA. Therefore, it is important to identify risk factors for the development of MA in patients with wAMD. For example, excessive blockade of VEGF through intense use of anti-VEGF agents may accelerate the development of MA. Patients with type III macular neovascularization (retinal angiomatous proliferation) have a particularly high risk of MA. These patients are characterized as having a pre-existing thin choroid (age-related choroidopathy), suggesting that the choroidal circulation is unable to respond to increased VEGF expression. Evidence suggests that subretinal fluid (possibly indicative of residual VEGF activity) may play a protective role. Patients receiving anti-VEGF agents must be assessed for overall risk of MA, and there is an unmet medical need to prevent the development of MA without undertreating wAMD.

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          Most cited references141

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          Ranibizumab and bevacizumab for neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

          Clinical trials have established the efficacy of ranibizumab for the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In addition, bevacizumab is used off-label to treat AMD, despite the absence of similar supporting data. In a multicenter, single-blind, noninferiority trial, we randomly assigned 1208 patients with neovascular AMD to receive intravitreal injections of ranibizumab or bevacizumab on either a monthly schedule or as needed with monthly evaluation. The primary outcome was the mean change in visual acuity at 1 year, with a noninferiority limit of 5 letters on the eye chart. Bevacizumab administered monthly was equivalent to ranibizumab administered monthly, with 8.0 and 8.5 letters gained, respectively. Bevacizumab administered as needed was equivalent to ranibizumab as needed, with 5.9 and 6.8 letters gained, respectively. Ranibizumab as needed was equivalent to monthly ranibizumab, although the comparison between bevacizumab as needed and monthly bevacizumab was inconclusive. The mean decrease in central retinal thickness was greater in the ranibizumab-monthly group (196 μm) than in the other groups (152 to 168 μm, P=0.03 by analysis of variance). Rates of death, myocardial infarction, and stroke were similar for patients receiving either bevacizumab or ranibizumab (P>0.20). The proportion of patients with serious systemic adverse events (primarily hospitalizations) was higher with bevacizumab than with ranibizumab (24.1% vs. 19.0%; risk ratio, 1.29; 95% confidence interval, 1.01 to 1.66), with excess events broadly distributed in disease categories not identified in previous studies as areas of concern. At 1 year, bevacizumab and ranibizumab had equivalent effects on visual acuity when administered according to the same schedule. Ranibizumab given as needed with monthly evaluation had effects on vision that were equivalent to those of ranibizumab administered monthly. Differences in rates of serious adverse events require further study. (Funded by the National Eye Institute; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00593450.).
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            Five-Year Outcomes with Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Treatment of Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration: The Comparison of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treatments Trials.

            To describe outcomes 5 years after initiating treatment with bevacizumab or ranibizumab for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
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              Ranibizumab and bevacizumab for treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration: two-year results.

              To describe effects of ranibizumab and bevacizumab when administered monthly or as needed for 2 years and to describe the impact of switching to as-needed treatment after 1 year of monthly treatment. Multicenter, randomized clinical trial. Patients (n = 1107) who were followed up during year 2 among 1185 patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration who were enrolled in the clinical trial. At enrollment, patients were assigned to 4 treatment groups defined by drug (ranibizumab or bevacizumab) and dosing regimen (monthly or as needed). At 1 year, patients initially assigned to monthly treatment were reassigned randomly to monthly or as-needed treatment, without changing the drug assignment. Mean change in visual acuity. Among patients following the same regimen for 2 years, mean gain in visual acuity was similar for both drugs (bevacizumab-ranibizumab difference, -1.4 letters; 95% confidence interval [CI], -3.7 to 0.8; P = 0.21). Mean gain was greater for monthly than for as-needed treatment (difference, -2.4 letters; 95% CI, -4.8 to -0.1; P = 0.046). The proportion without fluid ranged from 13.9% in the bevacizumab-as-needed group to 45.5% in the ranibizumab monthly group (drug, P = 0.0003; regimen, P 0.60). The proportion of patients with 1 or more systemic serious adverse events was higher with bevacizumab than ranibizumab (39.9% vs. 31.7%; adjusted risk ratio, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.07-1.57; P = 0.009). Most of the excess events have not been associated previously with systemic therapy targeting vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Ranibizumab and bevacizumab had similar effects on visual acuity over a 2-year period. Treatment as needed resulted in less gain in visual acuity, whether instituted at enrollment or after 1 year of monthly treatment. There were no differences between drugs in rates of death or arteriothrombotic events. The interpretation of the persistence of higher rates of serious adverse events with bevacizumab is uncertain because of the lack of specificity to conditions associated with inhibition of VEGF. Copyright © 2012 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                OPH
                Ophthalmologica
                10.1159/issn.0030-3755
                Ophthalmologica
                S. Karger AG
                0030-3755
                1423-0267
                2022
                June 2022
                25 October 2021
                : 245
                : 3
                : 204-217
                Affiliations
                [_a] aUniversity of Nottingham Medical School, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, United Kingdom
                [_b] bDepartment of Ophthalmology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
                [_c] cBoehringer Ingelheim International GmbH, Ingelheim Am Rhein, Germany
                Author information
                https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9649-0072
                Article
                520171 Ophthalmologica 2022;245:204–217
                10.1159/000520171
                34695835
                747ed369-7663-4efd-883a-ba2cf4eff962
                © 2021 The Author (s). Published by S. Karger AG, Basel

                This article is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC). Usage and distribution for commercial purposes requires written permission. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                History
                : 09 July 2021
                : 08 October 2021
                Page count
                Tables: 4, Pages: 14
                Categories
                Review Article

                Vision sciences,Ophthalmology & Optometry,Pathology
                Macular atrophy,Age-related macular degeneration,Anti-vascular endothelial growth factors,Geographic atrophy

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