Bahrami B, Hong T, Schlub TE, Chang AA. Aflibercept For Persistent Diabetic Macular Edema: Forty-Eight–Week Outcomes. Retina. 2019 Jan 1;39(1):61-8.

Bahrami B, Hong T, Schlub TE, Chang AA. Aflibercept For Persistent Diabetic Macular Edema: Forty-Eight–Week Outcomes. Retina. 2019 Jan 1;39(1):61-8.

Purpose:
To evaluate functional and anatomical outcomes after a switch from intravitreal bevacizumab to aflibercept in patients with persistent diabetic macular edema.

Methods:
Prospective, single-arm, open-label clinical trial of patients with persistent diabetic macular edema, despite previous treatment with bevacizumab. Five loading doses of intravitreal aflibercept were administered every 4 weeks with subsequent injections administered every 8 weeks. Patients were reviewed every 4 weeks, and best-corrected visual acuity and central macular thickness were recorded. Primary outcome measures included change in central macular thickness and best-corrected visual acuity at week 48 compared with baseline. Paired t-tests were used to assess change between baseline and follow-up visits.

Results:
At baseline, 43 eyes from 43 patients were recruited with a median (interquartile range) of 12 (7-24) previous intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor injections over a period of 18 (8-34) months. Mean ± SD central macular thickness reduced by 59 ± 114 μm (P = 0.002), and best-corrected visual acuity improved by 3.9 ± 7.0 letters (P = 0.001) after 48 weeks in the 41 patients who completed the trial. Best-corrected visual acuity improvements were more marked in patients who gained ≥5 letters after the first injection (8.9 ± 5.7 vs. 1.8 ± 6.5 letter gain at 48 weeks, P = 0.002), a difference which remained significant after regression analysis with baseline best-corrected visual acuity . Vision gains and central macular thickness reduction were similar in 9 fellow eyes eligible for inclusion being concurrently treated for diabetic macular edema with bevacizumab.

Conclusion:
Intravitreal aflibercept was effective in improving anatomical and visual outcomes among patients with an incomplete response to intravitreal bevacizumab with 48 weeks of follow-up. Patients with a good early response subsequent to switching had a better improvement in vision at 48 weeks.

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