Background: The aim of this study was to describe bilateral visual outcomes and the effect of incomplete follow-up after 3 years of ranibizumab therapy for neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Secondarily, the demands on service provision over a 3-year period were described.
Methods: Data on visual acuity, hospital visits, and injections were collected over 36 months on consecutive patients commencing treatment over a 9-month period. Visual outcome was determined for 1) all patients, using last observation carried forward for missed visits due to early discontinuation and 2) only those patients completing full 36-month follow-up.
Results: Over 3 years, 120 patients cumulatively attended hospital for 1,823 noninjection visits and 1,365 injection visits. A visual acuity loss of <15 letters (L) was experienced by 78.2% of patients. For all patients (n=120), there was a mean loss of 1.68 L using last observation carried forward for missing values. Excluding five patients who died and 30 who discontinued follow-up, mean gain was 1.47 L. In bilateral cases, final acuity was on average 9 L better in second eyes compared to first eyes. Also, 91% of better-seeing eyes continued to be the better-seeing eye.
Conclusion: We have demonstrated our approach to describing the long-term service provision and visual outcomes of ranibizumab therapy for neovascular age-related macular degeneration in a consecutive cohort of patients. Although there was a heavy burden with very frequent injections and clinic visits, patients can expect a good level of visual stability and a very high chance of maintaining their better-seeing eye for up to 3 years.
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- long term follow up
- real-world data
- visual acuity