Aim: The aim of the study was to assess the efficacy of intravitreal bevacizumab injections for eyes with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (NVAMD) and poor initial visual acuity (VA).
Methods: A retrospective study of 44 consecutive treatment-naïve eyes with NVAMD who had initial VA of 0.1 decimal or worse, and that were treated with intravitreal bevacizumab injections, was undertaken. Charts, optical coherence tomography (OCT) and fluorescein angiograms (FAs) were reviewed for the purpose of the study.
Results: Mean lesion size was 3375 (SD 2116) μm, all lesions showed sub- or intra-retinal fluid in OCT, and active neovascularisation comprised 41.6 (SD 17.7)% (range 10–90%) of the lesion area according to FA. The mean follow-up time was 3.9 (SD 5.8) (range 1–21) months. Patients received a mean of 2.6 (SD 2.4) bevacizumab injections (range 1–14), and mean VA improved from 1.85 (SD 0.64) to 1.52 (SD 0.77) LogMAR (p = 0.002). At final examination, nine eyes (20%) had reduced VA, ten eyes (23%) had stable VA and 25 eyes (57%) had improved VA compared with baseline. Following treatment, mean macular thickness was reduced from 332 (SD 98) to 248 (SD 79) μm (p<0.0001).
Conclusions: Poor initial VA should not prevent use of bevacizumab in eyes with NVAMD. Selection of patients with signs of active neovascularisation based on ophthalmoscopy, OCT and FA may increase the likelihood of a favourable response to treatment.
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