Purpose: To evaluate changes in retinal perfusion status with intravitreal aflibercept injection (IAI) and laser treatment in the phase 3 VISTA study of patients with diabetic macular edema (DME). Design: Post hoc analysis of a double-masked, randomized, active-controlled, phase 3 trial. Participants: Patients with center-involved DME in the study eye. Methods: VISTA randomized 466 patients to laser, IAI 2 mg every 4 weeks (2q4), or IAI 2 mg every 8 weeks after 5 monthly doses (2q8). One eye per patient was enrolled in the study. Retinal perfusion status was evaluated by fluorescein angiography based on the presence or absence of retinal nonperfusion (RNP) in quadrants intersecting at the optic nerve head by a masked independent reading center at weeks 24, 52, 72, and 100. Visual and anatomic outcomes were evaluated at all visits. In patients who received rescue treatment, data were censored from the time rescue treatment was given. Main Outcome Measures: Change in perfusion status from baseline through week 100. Results: At week 100, the proportion of eyes with improvement in retinal perfusion (defined as a reduction from baseline in the total number of quadrants in which RNP is present) in the laser control, 2q4, and 2q8 groups was 14.6%, 44.7%, and 40.0%, respectively. The proportion of eyes that experienced worsening in retinal perfusion (defined as an increase from baseline in the total number of quadrants in which RNP is present) at week 100 in the laser control, 2q4, and 2q8 groups was 25.0%, 9.0%, and 8.6%, respectively. Conclusion: Post hoc analysis of the phase 3 VISTA study in patients with DME provides evidence that regular IAI dosing not only can slow worsening of retinal perfusion associated with diabetic retinopathy but also may be able to improve retinal perfusion in some cases by decreasing zones of RNP.
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