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Predictive factors for treatment outcomes with intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor injections in diabetic macular edema in clinical practice
Background:Intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) injections are the standard of care for diabetic macular edema (DME), a common complication of diabetes. This study aimed to identify factors influencing DME intravitreal anti-VEGF treatment outcomes in real-world practice.
Methods: This was a multi-center retrospective observational study using medical chart review of participants receiving anti-VEGF injections for DME (N = 248). Demographic and clinical variables were assessed for association with best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and central macular thickness (CMT) outcomes using regression models.
Results: There was a significant improvement in BCVA (p < 0.001) and CMT (p < 0.001) after 12 months of treatment, although 21% of participants had decreased BCVA, and 41% had a < 10% CMT reduction at 12 months. Higher baseline BCVA (p = 0.022, OR=-0.024, 95% CI=-0.046,-0.004) and longer duration of diabetic retinopathy (p = 0.048, OR=-0.064, 95% CI=-0.129,-0.001) were negative predictors for BCVA response, whereas Aflibercept treatment (p = 0.017, OR = 1.107, 95% CI = 0.220,2.051) compared with other drugs and a positive "early functional response" (p < 0.001, OR=-1.393, 95% CI=-1.946,-0.857) were positive predictors. A higher baseline CMT (p < 0.001, OR = 0.019, 95% CI = 0.012,0.0261) and an "early anatomical response", (p < 0.001, OR=-1.677, 95% CI=-2.456, -0.943) were predictors for greater reduction in CMT. Overall, the variables could predict only 23% of BCVA and 52% of CMT response.
Conclusions: The study shows a significant proportion of DME patients do not respond to anti-VEGF therapy and identifies several clinical predictors for treatment outcomes.
Publication titleInternational Journal of Retina and Vitreous
Department/SchoolMenzies Institute for Medical Research
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom