December 2016

Twelve-Month Outcomes of Ranibizumab vs. Aflibercept for Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Data from an Observational Study

Mark C Gillies, Vuong Nguyen, Vincent Daien, Jennifer J Arnold, Nigel Morlet, Daniel Barthelmes


Purpose: To directly compare visual acuity (VA) outcomes with ranibizumab vs. aflibercept for eyes with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) treated in routine clinical practice.

Design: Database observational study.

Participants: Treatment-naïve eyes with nAMD tracked by the Fight Retinal Blindness outcome registry that commenced anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy with ranibizumab or aflibercept between December 1, 2013, and January 31, 2015. Eyes were matched at baseline for VA, age, and choroidal neovascular membrane (CNV) size.

Methods: Locally weighted scatterplot smoothing curves were used to display VA results. Eyes that switched or discontinued treatment were included with their last observation carried forward.

Main outcome measures: Change in mean VA (number of letters read on a logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution chart); number of injections and visits; proportion of eyes with inactive CNV over 12 months.

Results: We identified 394 eyes (197 treated with ranibizumab and 197 with aflibercept) from 372 patients who received treatment from 34 practitioners. Baseline parameters were well matched. The mean (standard deviation [SD]) VA of ranibizumab-treated eyes increased from 58.6 (20.3) letters at baseline to 62.3 (23.9) (+3.7 [95% confidence interval {CI} 1.4-6.1]) letters (P = 0.001), compared with 58.9 (19.2) letters at baseline to 63.1 (21.5) (+4.26 [95% CI 2.0-6.5]) letters (P < 0.001) for eyes receiving aflibercept. The difference in change in crude VA of 0.6 letters between the 2 groups was not statistically significant (P = 0.76), nor was the difference in adjusted mean VA of the 2 groups (P = 0.26). In completers, the mean (SD) numbers of injections (8.1 [2.1] vs. 8.0 [2.3]; P = 0.27) and visits (9.6 [3.0] vs. 9.5 [3.1]; P = 0.15) did not differ between the 2 groups. The adjusted proportion of eyes in which the CNV lesion was graded as inactive during the study was similar between the eyes receiving ranibizumab and aflibercept (74% vs. 77%, respectively; P = 0.63). Conclusions: Visual acuity outcomes at 12 months did not differ between ranibizumab and aflibercept used for nAMD in this large observational study, nor was a difference in treatment frequency found.