January 2021

Five-year incidence and visual acuity outcomes for intravitreal therapy in bilateral neovascular age-related macular degeneration: Fight Retinal Blindness! Project

Elisa E Cornish, Kelvin Y Teo, Vuong Nguyen, David Squirrel, Stephanie Young, Mark C Gillies, Daniel Barthelmes


Purpose: To compare treatment intensity and mean visual acuity gains for first- and second-affected eyes with age-related macular degeneration nAMD over 5 years of treatment. The cumulative incidence of second-eye involvement was assessed.

Method: We analyzed data from the Fight Retinal Blindness! project database, a prospectively designed registry of “real-world” outcomes from Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Singapore. Patients with bilateral age-related macular degeneration with ≥5 years of follow-up on treatment were included.

Results: Six thousand five hundred and forty-two eyes being treated for age-related macular degeneration were tracked from 2005 to 2017. Thousand two hundred and sixty-one patients had bilateral age-related macular degeneration; of whom, 302 had 5 years of follow-up. Of these, 170 patients started treatment for each eye at least 2 months apart. The mean baseline visual acuity of second-affected eyes was significantly higher than that of first-eyes (20/50 + 2 vs. 20/80; P < 0.01). Second-affected eyes lost a mean of 5.8 (-9.1 to -2.6) logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution letters after 5 years of treatment, whereas the vision of the first-affected eyes remained stable (P = 0.01). Second-affected eyes received fewer injections than the first-affected eyes after the first year of treatment (6.2/year vs. 7.8/year; P < 0.01) and reactivated earlier (376 vs. 507 days; P = 0.04). The cumulative incidence of second eye involvement was 54% over 5 years. Conclusion: Second-affected eyes received fewer treatments and reactivated earlier. Care should be taken to avoid undertreating second-affected eyes.