British Journal of Ophthalmology
June 2023

Hemiretinal vein occlusion 12-month outcomes are unique with vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors: data from the Fight Retinal Blindness! Registry

Adrian Robert Hunt, Vuong Nguyen, Jennifer J Arnold, Ian L McAllister, Hemal Mehta, Alessandro Invernizzi, Theodorus Ponsioen, Pierre-Henry Gabrielle, Louise O’Toole, Pavol Kusenda, Socorro Alforja, Daniel Barthelmes, Mark C Gillies


Background/aims: To describe baseline characteristics and 12-month outcomes with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors of treatment-naïve hemiretinal vein occlusion (HRVO) compared with branch (BRVO) and central (CRVO) variants in routine clinical care.

Methods: A database observational study recruited 79 HRVO eyes, 590 BRVO eyes and 344 CRVO eyes that initiated therapy over 10 years. The primary outcome was mean change in visual acuity (VA-letters read on a logarithm of minimal angle of resolution chart) at 12 months. Secondary outcomes included mean change in central subfield thickness (CST), injections and visits.

Results: At baseline, mean VA in HRVO (53.8) was similar to CRVO (51.9; p=0.40) but lower than BRVO (59.4; p=0.009). HRVO eyes improved to match BRVO eyes from soon after treatment started through 12 months. Mean change in VA was greater in HRVO (+16.4) than both BRVO (+11.4; p=0.006) and CRVO (+8.5; p<0.001). Mean change in CST in HRVO (-231 µm) was similar to CRVO (-259 µm; p=0.33) but greater than BRVO eyes (-151 µm; p=0.003). The groups had similar median burdens of eight injections and nine visits. Conclusions: HRVO generally experienced the greatest mean change in VA of the three types of RVO when treated with VEGF inhibitors, ending with similar 12-month VA and CST to BRVO despite starting closer to CRVO. Inclusion of HRVO in BRVO or CRVO cohorts of clinical trials would be expected to proportionally inflate and skew the visual and anatomic outcomes.