Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine associations between early residual fluid (ERF)−free status and improved long-term visual outcomes. Design: This was a retrospective clinical cohort study from a post hoc analysis of 2 phase III clinical trials’ data. Methods: Independent of treatment allocation, patients from the multicenter, prospective, randomized, double-masked HAWK and HARRIER trials who received either brolucizumab 6 mg or aflibercept 2 mg were split into 2 cohorts depending on the presence or absence of ERF at week 12. In addition, similar analyses were performed on the presence or absence of early residual intraretinal fluid (IRF) and subretinal fluid (SRF) at week 12. The 2 groups, ERF-free (n = 1051) and ERF (n = 366) patients were compared. Changes from baseline in best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and central subfield thickness (CST) were determined. Results: From week 12 to 96, patients who were ERF free had greater least squares (LS) mean increases from baseline for BCVA and CST compared to ERF patients. Greater LS mean differences in BCVA from week 12 to 96 were noted between ERF-free and ERF patients. A greater proportion of patients in the ERF-free cohort reported a ≥5, ≥10, or ≥15 letter improvement, and a higher proportion reported BCVA ≥70 letters from baseline to week 96 compared to patients with fluid. Conclusions: Improvements in visual outcomes in ERF-free patients were greater than in ERF patients occurring as early as 4 weeks (week 12) after the last loading dose and continued to week 96. Therefore, ERF status may be a useful indicator of anti−vascular endothelial growth factor treatment response.
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