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Continued Monitoring Needed for Anti-VEGF Therapy in Macular Edema

Substantial improvement observed through month 12, which persisted through month 60, but lessened with fewer treatments

TUESDAY, April 26, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Continued monitoring and treatment with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy as needed maintains long-term visual benefit in patients with macular edema due to central retinal or hemiretinal vein occlusion, according to a study published online April 21 in the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

Ingrid U. Scott, M.D., M.P.H., from Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, and colleagues examined long-term follow-up after a randomized trial in which eyes were initially treated with aflibercept or bevacizumab for macular edema due to central retinal or hemiretinal vein occlusion. Participants were followed up to 60 months; 75 percent of the 330 eligible participants completed at least one visit between months 24 and 60, and 45 percent completed the visit at month 60.

The researchers found that the overall mean visual acuity letter score improvement over baseline was 13.5 among participants completing month 60, which was less than the mean improvement of 20.6 seen at month 12; no significant differences were seen between the treatment groups. Between months 48 and 60, 66 percent had at least one treatment, with a mean of 3.41 treatments during this period. The mean central subfield thickness was 671 and 261 microns at baseline and month 60, respectively.

“Our findings show that most of the patients followed still required treatment to control the macular edema for at least five years,” Scott said in a statement. “This demonstrates the importance of continued monitoring of these patients.”

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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