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      Improvements of Retinal Sensitivity after Intravitreal Injection of Aflibercept in Eyes with Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration with or without Polypoidal Choroidal Vasculopathy


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          Purpose: We aim to determine the effects of intravitreal aflibercept (IVA) on the mean sensitivity (MS) of the central retina, best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), and central foveal thickness (CFT) in eyes with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) with or without polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV). Methods: This was a prospective, interventional study. All eyes were treatment-naive with nAMD with or without PCV. Each eye received 3 monthly IVA injections followed by an IVA injection every 2 months for 12 months. The primary outcome was the change in the MS within the central 2°. The secondary outcomes were the changes in BCVA, CFT, greatest linear dimension (GLD), and percentage of eyes with a dry macula. Results: Thirty-seven eyes of 37 patients were studied. A significant improvement of the MS (dB) was observed +4.9 ± 4.6 dB (mean ± standard deviation) at 3 M ( p < 0.001), +5.5 ± 4.9 dB at 6 ( p < 0.001), and +7.0 ± 3.4 dB at 12 M ( p < 0.001) compared to the baseline in all eyes. The MS of the eyes with non-PCV was not significantly different from that of eyes with PCV ( p = 1.00, 1.00, 1.00, and 0.76 at baseline, 3, 6, and 12 M, respectively). The MS of 11 patients whose BCVA remained unchanged was significantly improved by +6.5 ± 2.8 dB at 3 M ( p < 0.001), +6.1 ± 4.3 dB at 6 M ( p < 0.001), and +6.4 ± 4.8 dB at 12 M ( p = 0.003) compared to the baseline. The mean BCVA was significantly improved from the baseline to 3 M ( p < 0.001), 6 M ( p = 0.027), and 12 M ( p = 0.003) in all eyes. The BCVA was improved or maintained in 97% of the patients at 12 M. The mean CFT and GLD were significantly reduced at 12 M ( p < 0.001). Twenty-two eyes (71%) had a dry macula at 12 M. Conclusions: IVA administered by a fixed dosing regimen led to significant improvements of the central MS, BCVA, and macular morphology at 1 year in eyes with nAMD with or without PCV. These results were not significantly different between eyes with non-PCV and with PCV. The improvements of the MS of the retina of the central 2° in a subgroup whose BCVA remained unchanged through the 12-month experimental period was also significant. We conclude that the MS of the central 2° might be a better marker than the BCVA in determining the effectiveness of IVA treatments and might be helpful in determining early effects on the retina before BCVA changes can be detected.

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          Most cited references50

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          Intravitreal aflibercept (VEGF trap-eye) in wet age-related macular degeneration.

          Two similarly designed, phase-3 studies (VEGF Trap-Eye: Investigation of Efficacy and Safety in Wet AMD [VIEW 1, VIEW 2]) of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) compared monthly and every-2-month dosing of intravitreal aflibercept injection (VEGF Trap-Eye; Regeneron, Tarrytown, NY, and Bayer HealthCare, Berlin, Germany) with monthly ranibizumab. Double-masked, multicenter, parallel-group, active-controlled, randomized trials. Patients (n = 2419) with active, subfoveal, choroidal neovascularization (CNV) lesions (or juxtafoveal lesions with leakage affecting the fovea) secondary to AMD. Patients were randomized to intravitreal aflibercept 0.5 mg monthly (0.5q4), 2 mg monthly (2q4), 2 mg every 2 months after 3 initial monthly doses (2q8), or ranibizumab 0.5 mg monthly (Rq4). The primary end point was noninferiority (margin of 10%) of the aflibercept regimens to ranibizumab in the proportion of patients maintaining vision at week 52 (losing <15 letters on Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study [ETDRS] chart). Other key end points included change in best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and anatomic measures. All aflibercept groups were noninferior and clinically equivalent to monthly ranibizumab for the primary end point (the 2q4, 0.5q4, and 2q8 regimens were 95.1%, 95.9%, and 95.1%, respectively, for VIEW 1, and 95.6%, 96.3%, and 95.6%, respectively, for VIEW 2, whereas monthly ranibizumab was 94.4% in both studies). In a prespecified integrated analysis of the 2 studies, all aflibercept regimens were within 0.5 letters of the reference ranibizumab for mean change in BCVA; all aflibercept regimens also produced similar improvements in anatomic measures. Ocular and systemic adverse events were similar across treatment groups. Intravitreal aflibercept dosed monthly or every 2 months after 3 initial monthly doses produced similar efficacy and safety outcomes as monthly ranibizumab. These studies demonstrate that aflibercept is an effective treatment for AMD, with the every-2-month regimen offering the potential to reduce the risk from monthly intravitreal injections and the burden of monthly monitoring. Proprietary or commercial disclosure may be found after the references. Copyright © 2012 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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            Novel method for analyzing snellen visual acuity measurements.

            Most retrospective reviews convert Snellen visual acuity measurements obtained during routine clinic visits to logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (logMAR) units so that statistical manipulations can be performed. However, visual acuity measurements expressed as logMAR units are not intuitively interpretable by clinicians. A more intuitive approach is presented here which uses the conversion of Snellen visual acuity fractions to Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) letter scores for statistical manipulations. Snellen visual acuity measurements were converted to approximate ETDRS (approxETDRS) letter scores for statistical manipulations and then converted back to Snellen equivalent fractions. The formula to convert Snellen visual acuity measurements to approxETDRS letter scores is 85 + 50 x log (Snellen fraction), which may be rounded to the nearest letter. A linear relationship exists between true ETDRS letter scores, approxETDRS letter scores, and logMAR units. The interconversion between Snellen visual acuity measurements, logMAR units, and approxETDRS letter scores was prepared in a tabular form for easy reference. The same outcomes (in Snellen fractions) were obtained with statistical manipulation of either approxETDRS letter scores or logMAR conversions. Conversion of Snellen visual acuity fractions to approxETDRS letter scores for the purpose of performing statistical manipulations provides more readily interpretable outcomes compared with the current strategy of converting Snellen visual acuity fractions to logMAR units.
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              Is Open Access

              HAWK and HARRIER: phase 3, multicenter, randomized, double-masked trials of brolucizumab for neovascular age-related macular degeneration

              Two similarly designed phase 3 trials (HAWK and HARRIER) compared brolucizumab, a single-chain antibody fragment that inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor-A, with aflibercept to treat neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD).

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                September 2021
                20 May 2021
                : 244
                : 4
                : 347-360
                [_a] aDepartment of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba, Japan
                [_b] bWilmer Ophthalmological Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
                [_c] cClinical Research Center, Chiba University Hospital, Chiba, Japan
                517187 Ophthalmologica 2021;244:347–360
                © 2021 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. 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.

                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 3, Pages: 14
                New Technologies in Ophthalmology


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