March 2023

Outcomes of switching from proactive to reactive treatment after developing advanced central neovascular age-related macular degeneration 

Elisa E Cornish, Vuong Nguyen, Martin Puzo, Louise O’Toole, Chui M Gemmy Cheung, Andrea Vincent, Tremeur Guillaumie, Sioe Lan Oei, Helena Brosa Morros, Daniel Barthelmes, Mark C Gillies


Purpose: We assessed outcomes of eyes with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) that switched from proactive (treat-and-extend) to reactive (pro re nata) treatment regimen after developing macular atrophy (MA) or submacular fibrosis (SMFi).

Methods: Data were collected from a retrospective analysis of a prospectively designed, multinational registry of “real-world” nAMD treatment outcomes. Eyes without MA or SMFi when starting treatment with a vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor regimen that subsequently developed MA or SMFi were included.

Results: Macular atrophy developed in 821 eyes and SMFi in 1,166 eyes. Seven percent of eyes that developed MA and 9% of those that developed SMFi were switched to reactive treatment. Vision was stable at 12 months for all eyes with MA and inactive SMFi. Active SMFi eyes that switched to reactive treatment had significant vision loss. No eyes that continued proactive treatment developed ≥15 letter loss, but 8% of all eyes that switched to a reactive regimen and 15% of active SMFi eyes did.

Conclusion: Eyes that switch from proactive to reactive treatment after developing MA and inactive SMFi can have stable visual outcomes. Physicians should be aware of the risk of a significant loss of vision in eyes with active SMFi that switch to reactive treatment.