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Treatment of large avascular retinal pigment epithelium detachments in age-related macular degeneration with aflibercept, photodynamic therapy, and triamcinolone acetonide

Authors Tvenning AO, Hedels C, Krohn J, Austeng D

Received 23 September 2018

Accepted for publication 21 December 2018

Published 1 February 2019 Volume 2019:13 Pages 233—241


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Arnt-Ole Tvenning,1,2 Christian Hedels,3 Jørgen Krohn,4,5 Dordi Austeng1,2

1Department of Neuromedicine and Movement Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, NTNU, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7491 Trondheim, Norway; 2Department of Ophthalmology, St. Olavs Hospital, Trondheim University Hospital, 7006 Trondheim, Norway; 3Hedels Eye Clinic, 6517 Kristiansund, Norway; 4Department of Clinical Medicine, Section of Ophthalmology, University of Bergen, 5021 Bergen, Norway; 5Department of Ophthalmology, Haukeland University Hospital, 5053 Bergen, Norway

Purpose: To evaluate the use of aflibercept, triamcinolone acetonide, and photodynamic therapy (PDT) in the treatment of avascular pigment epithelium detachments (aPEDs).
Patients and methods: Patients with treatment-naïve aPEDs ≥1,500 µm in diameter were randomized to treatment or observation. Treatment consisted of 6 monthly intravitreal injections of aflibercept. If the aPED persisted, the patients were treated with half-fluence PDT in combination with intravitreal triamcinolone acetonide and aflibercept. The primary outcome was change of best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) after 24 months of follow-up. Secondary outcomes were changes in pigment epithelium volume, height and diameter, central retinal thickness, and number of patients developing choroidal neovascularization or geographic atrophy (GA).
Results: Treatment and inclusion of patients were stopped after an interim analysis of 6-month data because 75% of the aPEDs were in different stages of GA. Nine patients with aPED were included in the study, of these one patient was excluded because of bilateral central serous chorioretinopathy. The remaining eight had drusenoid aPEDs. After 24 months of follow-up, estimated means of BCVA decreased by 4.2 and 20.8 letters in the treatment and observation group, respectively. This decrease over time was not significantly different between groups (P=0.140, 95% CI -5.3, 38.6). Estimated means of PED volume, height, diameter, and central retinal thickness were not significantly different between groups. Choroidal neovascularization and retinal pigment epithelium tear developed in one patient in the treatment group. One patient in the treatment group and two patients in the observation group progressed to complete retinal pigment epithelium and outer retinal atrophy. A decrease in PED volume was associated with the development of complete retinal pigment epithelium and outer retinal atrophy (P=0.029).
Conclusion: This small trial indicates that multitargeted, primarily antiangiogenic therapy does not favorably alter the natural course of drusenoid aPEDs.

Keywords: drusenoid, geographic atrophy, anti-VEGF, PDT

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