Background Treat and extend (TE) treatment regimens have the potential to reduce the treatment burden placed upon patients receiving ranibizumab for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD). This study aimed to analyse changes in best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and anatomical parameters in patients switching from a pro re nata (PRN) to a TE regimen during routine clinical practice.
Methods Retrospective, consecutive, comparative case series of treatment-naïve patients who were initially treated with 0.5 mg ranibizumab according to a PRN schedule, and subsequently switched to a TE schedule (12-month follow-up).
Results 146 eyes from 134 consecutive treatment-naïve patients were included. Mean BCVA (decimal±SD) increased from 0.39±0.23 to 0.55±0.22 (p<0.001) during the PRN loading regimen, declining to 0.49±0.22 (p<0.001) during the PRN maintenance phase (mean duration 17 months; range 3–55). Following the switch to TE, BCVA improved to 0.55±0.23 and 0.56±0.24 by 6 and 12 months, respectively (p<0.001). Mean intraindividual variance in BCVA was higher during the PRN phase than at 12 months for TE (0.30±0.18 vs 0.09±0.08, respectively; p<0.001). After switching to TE, mean central retinal thickness decreased from 355±112 µm to 330±105 and 320±103 µm at 6 and 12 months, respectively (p<0.001). Mean number of visits per month was higher during PRN than TE periods (1.05±0.13 vs 0.73±0.18; respectively; p<0.001).
Conclusions A TE regimen can improve and stabilise patient outcomes in nAMD compared with PRN, with the potential to reduce the healthcare resource burden incurred from fixed monitoring requirements.