Ophthalmology Retina
2020 September

Detrimental Effect of Delayed Re-treatment of Active Disease on Outcomes in Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration: The RAMPS Study

Kelvin Yi Chong Teo, Nakul Saxena, Alfred Gan, Tien Y Wong, Mark C Gillies, Usha Chakravarthy, Chui Ming Gemmy Cheung


Purpose: To assess the impact of delaying anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) treatment of active disease at any point during a patient’s treatment journey on clinical outcomes in a real-world cohort of patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD).

Design: Longitudinal cohort study.

Participants: Consecutive treatment-naive nAMD eyes commencing anti-VEGF monotherapy (bevacizumab, ranibizumab, or aflibercept) from January 2014 from a tertiary eye center in Singapore.

Methods: We conducted a real-world study using registry data comparing delayed re-treatment (defined as not receiving treatment at 2 or more monitoring visits when disease was graded as active) versus timely re-treatment (defined as receiving treatment when disease was active).

Main outcome measures: The primary outcome was the change in visual acuity (VA) in the timely and delayed re-treatment groups at 12 months.

Results: Data from 286 eyes were included and categorized into the timely (188 [66%]) or the delayed (98 ([34%]) group. The mean numbers of anti-VEGF injections over 12 months were similar: 5.6 (standard deviation [SD], 2.9) versus 4.9 (SD, 3.2; P = 0.11) for the timely and delayed groups, respectively. Timely treated patients showed larger gains in VA (6.4 letters [SD, 8.1 letters] vs. 1.2 letters [SD, 5.3 letters; P = 0.04), a higher proportion with VA of 6/12 or better (30% vs. 8%; P = 0.01), and greater reduction in OCT-measured central subfield thickness (135 μm [SD, 154 μm] vs. 87.8 μm [SD, 129 μm]; P = 0.04) at 12 months. A longer delay between detection of active disease and re-treatment was associated with poorer vision outcomes (0.02-letter decrease/day; P = 0.03; R2 = 0.29).

Conclusions: Although it has been established that adequate numbers of injections are required for favorable outcomes, timely re-treatment of active disease also is important. This should be emphasized to patients to ensure optimal outcomes in real-world clinical settings.