Macular thickness fluctuation in neovascular age-related macular degeneration treated with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor



      To establish whether increased variability in macular thickness in neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) patients affects visual outcomes in clinical practice


      Retrospective cohort study


      Treatment-naive nAMD patients studied over 24 months


      Central subfield thickness (CST) values from optical coherence tomography were collected quarterly from baseline to 24 months, and standard deviations (SDs) were calculated. The relationship was modeled with mixed-effects regression between CST SD and 24-month change in visual acuity (VA). Linear regression modeling determined predictors of CST SD.


      A total of 422 eyes with nAMD were studied. Baseline and 24-month CST values (mean ± SD) were 331.2 ± 97.6 and 253.4 ± 53.6 μm (Δ = –77.8 ± 104.7 μm, p < 0.001), with CST SD across 24 months of 42.0 ± 32.8 μm. Baseline and 24-month VA were 58.8 ± 19.2 and 62.4 ± 20.6 Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy Study letters (Δ = +3.7 ± 20.8 letters, p = 0.008). CST SD over 24 months was a statistically significant negative predictor of 24-month change in VA (–15.41 [–20.98, –9.83] letters per 100 μm, p < 0.001). Quartile analysis of 24-month VA by CST SD showed a +11.2-letter difference between the first and last quartiles (p < 0.001). Baseline CST was a predictor of 24-month CST SD (24.88 [22.69, 27.06] μm per 100 μm, p < 0.001).


      Higher macular thickness fluctuations are related to poorer visual outcomes at 24 months in patients with nAMD treated with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor injections. Macular thickness variability may be an important prognostic factor of visual outcomes in nAMD eyes.
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