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Keywords:

  • age-related macular degeneration;
  • bevacizumab;
  • prognostic factors

Abstract

Purpose:  To evaluate a variable frequency regimen with intravitreal bevacizumab for treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in eyes that have not received any previous treatment.

Methods:  Retrospective review of patients with neovascular AMD who were treated with three consecutive monthly intravitreal injections of bevacizumab (1.25 mg) and retreated based on the PrONTO study criteria. Outcome measures included visual acuity (VA) and central retinal thickness. Subgroup analysis was conducted to identify pretreatment characteristics that could determine visual outcome with treatment.

Results:  A total of 109 eyes of 109 patients were treated. The mean age was 82 years, and the mean follow-up period was 9.4 months (range 6–12 months). At baseline, the mean VA was 45.6 letters (6/37.5) and mean central retinal thickness 343 µm. This improved to 51 letters (6/30) (P < 0.001)) and 231 µm (P < 0.001) at 6 months. At 6 months, VA was improved by at least five letters in 50%, remained stable in 30% and worsened by at least five letters in 20% of patients. Patients with large intraretinal cysts on optical coherence tomography before treatment had an increased risk of worse vision (odds ratio 10.5, 95% confidence interval 1.69–64.99; P = 0.018).

Conclusions:  The majority of patients had improvement or stability of VA regardless of the angiographic type of choroidal neovascularization. Intravitreal bevacizumab with this tailored regimen is beneficial in the treatment of neovascular AMD in the short term. The presence of large intraretinal cysts on optical coherence tomography is a poor prognostic factor for visual improvement with this treatment.