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Comparative effectiveness and harms of intravitreal antivascular endothelial growth factor agents for three retinal conditions: a systematic review and meta-analysis
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  • Published on:
    Author Response to Letter to the Editor
    • Allison Low, Research Assistant Portland Evidence-based Synthesis Program, VA Portland Health Care System, Portland, Oregon, USA
    • Other Contributors:
      • Devan Kansagara, Director of the Portland Evidence-based Synthesis Program, Staff Physician

    To the Editor,

    We appreciate Francisco-Javier Carrera-Hueso, Pedro Vazquez-Ferreiro, and Jaime Poquet-Jornet's careful reading of this paper. This commissioned review had a necessarily broad scope in order to summarize benefits and harms across three available therapies for the most common clinical indications. We agree there was quite a bit of information to present and that doing so in a succinct format is a challenge. However, we disagree with their contention that we did not follow current methodologic systematic review standards. We did indeed follow PRISMA reporting guidelines, as described in the Methods.

    Regarding Table 1, the studies included in the summary table are the same as those described within the text and meta-analyses; we apologize for any confusion. In terms of format for the listing of studies in the meta-analyses, since studies are known primarily by their acronym, we used them in the figures whenever possible. The trials without specific names or acronyms were listed according to author and year.

    Biswas 2011 only reported the percentage of patients gaining ≥15 letters at the 18-month endpoint, not at 12 months, so the study could not be included in the 12-month analysis for this outcome. The study did report mean change in BCVA at both endpoints, so it is included in both the 12 month and 18-24 month analyses in Figure 2. In terms of analyzing cost-effectiveness, only two trials meeting inclusion criteria (CATT and DRCR) di...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Re: Comparative Effectiveness and harms of intravitreal antivascular endothelial growth factor agents for three retinal conditions: a systematic review and meta-analysis
    • Francisco-Javier Carrera-Hueso, pharmacist Hospital Dr Moliner
    • Other Contributors:
      • Pedro Vazquez-Ferreiro, ophthalmologist
      • Jaime Poquet-Jornet, pharmacist

    To the Editor,
    Intravitreal antivascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agents undeniably have many clinical applications and we read with great interest the recent meta-analysis published in your journal by Low et al1 comparing the effectiveness and harms of these agents in three retinal disorders.
    We would first like to thank the authors for their exhaustive review and synthesis of the evidence in this area. The conclusions they reached served to confirm what many of us had already suspected.2 Nevertheless, the article features some important methodological flaws and inadequate reporting of data that we would like to highlight to ensure that readers are in a position to interpret the findings of the meta-analysis correctly.
    In relation to reporting issues, we were surprised to see that Table 1, which is quite creative and unique in terms of systematic review tables, does not include a list of the studies analyzed for each section. The authors, for example, state that they included two clinical trials comparing aflibercept and ranibizumab, but they do not specify which ones. This detracts from the transparency of the study and makes it difficult to review the findings. We also noticed a lack of uniformity within the figures, as some of the studies are listed by author name and others by author name and year of publication. In addition, Figure 3 shows data from the 2011 study by Biswas P, Sengupta S, Choudhary R, et al for the 18-24–month but not the 12...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.