Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
July 2020

Ten-year outcomes of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor treatment for neovascular age-related macular disease: A single-centre French study

Benjamin Wolff, Valerie Macioce, Vivien Vasseur, Laurent Castelnovo, Guillaume Michel, Vuong Nguyen, Vincent Daien, Martine Mauget-Faÿsse, Mark Gillies


Importance: Long-term data of intravitreal injections of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors are lacking.

Background: This study aims to assess visual and anatomic outcomes of eyes with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) after 10 years of anti-VEGF therapy.

Design: Retrospective analysis of data from a prospectively designed database.

Participants: One hundred and sixteen eyes with nAMD (94 participants) that started anti-VEGF therapy at least 10 years earlier.

Methods: Eyes were tracked by the Fight Retinal Blindness! registry.

Main outcome measures: Mean change in visual acuity at 10 years vs baseline. Visual acuity was assessed by the number of letters read on a logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution chart.

Results: Eyes received a median of 27.5 injections over 10 years. Mean visual acuity was 57.5 letters (SD 17.5) at baseline. It increased slightly at 1 year, then dropped steadily by 18 letters (95% CI: 13.7; 22.3) at 10 years. Overall, 10% of eyes gained ≥10 letters, 64% lost ≥10 letters and 23% remained stable (±5 letters from baseline). Geographic atrophy and subretinal fibrosis were found in 93% and 71%, respectively, after 10 years, both mostly affecting the centre of the fovea. Pre-treated eyes (47.5%) had significantly worse visual acuity than treatment-naïve eyes at baseline and during follow-up and were significantly more likely to have atrophy and fibrosis.

Conclusions and relevance: Despite short-term stabilization, long-term visual outcomes of nAMD eyes under anti-VEGF therapy may be poor. Development of atrophy and fibrosis, resulting from the natural progression of the disease, may partly explain this evolution.