Aim To determine clinical correlations to intraocular vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) suppression times (VSTs) on the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) with ranibizumab (Lucentis) or aflibercept (Eylea).
Methods Seven of 89 treatment-naïve nAMD eyes showed persistent choroidal neovascular membrane (CNV) activity throughout a spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT)-driven pro re nata (PRN) regimen of intravitreal ranibizumab injections over 28±4 months. The treatment was switched to PRN aflibercept injections and patients were followed for another 15±2 months. A total of 160 aqueous humour specimens were collected before the intravitreal injections, and their VEGF-A concentrations were assayed by Luminex multiplex bead analysis (Luminex, Austin, Texas, USA). Intraocular VEGF-A concentrations were correlated to CNV activity shown by SD-OCT.
Results The mean duration of suppression of VEGF-A concentrations in aqueous humour below the lower limit of quantification of our assay was 34±5 (26–69) days for ranibizumab and 67±14 (49–89) days for aflibercept (p<0.001). The percentual reduction of central retinal volume (CRV) 6 weeks after injection was higher for aflibercept compared with ranibizumab (p=0.009). The time point of clinical re-activity occurred about 50% earlier than the respective VST for each ranibizumab and aflibercept.
Conclusions The VST under aflibercept treatment exceeded that under ranibizumab treatment by a factor of 2. This difference correlated with differential clinical CRV reduction 6 weeks after the respective injection. For both medications, clinical activity was found at a time point as early as 50% of the individual VST.
Trial registration number NCT01213667, post-results
- Treatment Medical
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Contributors SF and PSM have both designed the study, acquired the data, analysed the data, written the article and approved the final version.
Competing interests SF reports grants and personal fees from Novartis, grants and personal fees from Bayer, personal fees from Quantel, outside the submitted work; PSM reports personal fees from Novartis, personal fees from Bayer, personal fees from Heidelberg Engineering, outside the submitted work.
Ethics approval Ethics committee of the University of Cologne (reference number 11-027).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.