Importance: Information on the effect of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy in eyes with diabetic macular edema (DME) with vision loss after macular laser photocoagulation is clinically valuable.
Objective: To evaluate visual and anatomic outcomes in a subgroup of macular laser photocoagulation treatment control (hereafter laser control) eyes with substantial vision loss receiving treatment with intravitreal aflibercept injection.
Design, Setting, and Participants: This investigation was a post hoc analysis of a subgroup of laser control eyes in 2 phase 3 trials-VISTA (Study of Intravitreal Aflibercept Injection in Patients With Diabetic Macular Edema) and VIVID (Intravitreal Aflibercept Injection in Vision Impairment Due to DME)-in a multicenter setting. One hundred nine laser control eyes with center-involving DME were included.
Interventions: Treatment with intravitreal aflibercept injection (2 mg) every 8 weeks after 5 monthly doses with sham injections on nontreatment visits starting at week 24 was initiated on meeting prespecified criteria of at least a 10-letter visual acuity loss at 2 consecutive visits or at least a 15-letter visual acuity loss from the best previous measurement at 1 visit and vision not better than at baseline.
Main Outcomes and Measures: Visual and anatomic outcomes in a subgroup of laser control eyes receiving treatment with intravitreal aflibercept injection.
Results: Through week 100, a total of 63 of 154 eyes (40.9%) in VISTA and 46 of 133 eyes (34.6%) in VIVID initially randomized to laser control received treatment with intravitreal aflibercept injection. The median time from week 24 to the first intravitreal aflibercept injection treatment was 34.0 (VISTA) and 83.5 (VIVID) days. In this subgroup, the mean (SD) visual gain from baseline to week 100 was 2.2 (12.5) (VISTA) and 3.8 (10.1) (VIVID) letters. At the time of intravitreal aflibercept injection initiation, these eyes had a mean (SD) loss of 11.0 (10.1) (VISTA) and 10.0 (6.5) (VIVID) letters from baseline, and they subsequently gained a mean (SD) of 17.4 (9.7) (VISTA) and 13.6 (8.6) (VIVID) letters from the initiation of treatment with intravitreal aflibercept injection through week 100. There was a minimal mean change in central subfield thickness from baseline in these eyes at the time of intravitreal aflibercept injection initiation (an increase of 3.9 μm in VISTA and a decrease of 3.0 μm in VIVID), after which further mean (SD) reductions of 285.6 (202.6) μm (VISTA) and 313.4 (181.9) μm (VIVID) occurred through week 100.
Conclusions and Relevance: Intravitreal aflibercept injection improves visual and anatomic outcomes in eyes experiencing substantial vision loss after macular laser photocoagulation treatment for DME.
Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifiers: NCT01363440 and NCT01331681.
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