Aims: The aim of this study was to compare two treatment options for choroidal neovascularisation (CNV) secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD): (1) bevacizumab administered once a month for 3 months and thereafter as needed (loading dose (LD)); and (2) bevacizumab administered as needed, after the first injection (pro re nata (as needed) (PRN)).
Methods: Fifty consecutive patients were enrolled in this prospective study. The first 25 patients were included in the LD group and the last 25 patients in the PRN group. In both groups, the need for re-treatment was based on the presence of persistent or recurrent macular oedema, subretinal fluid or pigment epithelial detachment on optical coherence tomography scans.
Results: At the 6-month follow-up, mean visual acuity improved by 13.7 letters (p<0.001) in the LD group and 4.6 in the PRN group (p<0.001). Thirty-six per cent of patients in the LD group compared with 12% in the PRN group gained 15 or more letters (p = 0.04). Mean foveal thickness decreased by 91.3 µm (p<0.001) in the LD group and 48.2 µm in the PRN group (p<0.001). No ocular or systemic side effects were observed.
Conclusion: Patients with CNV secondary to AMD treated with a LD protocol had better results than patients treated with a PRN protocol with intravitreal bevacizumab.
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English editing of this manuscript: American Journal Experts http://www.journalexperts.com.
Competing interests: None declared.
Ethics approval: The institutional review board of the Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge approved this study. As intravitreal use of bevacizumab is not approved in Spain, we obtained a compassionate use indication from the Ministerio de Sanidad y Consumo (Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs) before initiating the study.
Patient consent: Obtained.