Aflibercept rescues vision after laser for diabetic macular edema

December 29, 2016

(HealthDay)—For eyes experiencing substantial visual loss after macular laser photocoagulation treatment for diabetic macular edema (DME), intravitreal aflibercept improves visual and anatomic outcomes, according to a study published online Dec. 22 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Charles C. Wykoff, M.D., Ph.D., from Retina Consultants of Houston, and colleagues examined outcomes in 63 of 154 eyes in Study of Intravitreal Aflibercept Injection in Patients With Diabetic Macular Edema (VISTA) and 46 of 133 eyes in Intravitreal Aflibercept Injection in Vision Impairment Due to DME (VIVID). The eyes were initially randomized to laser control and received intravitreal aflibercept treatment.

The researchers found that from baseline to week 100, the mean visual gain was 2.2 and 3.8 letters in VISTA and VIVID, respectively. These eyes had a mean loss of 11.0 and 10.0 letters, respectively, from baseline, at the time of initiation of intravitreal aflibercept injection; from the initiation of treatment through week 100, the eyes gained a mean of 17.4 and 13.6 letters, respectively. At the time of intravitreal aflibercept injection initiation, there was a minimal mean change in central subfield thickness from baseline (increase of 3.9 µm in VISTA and decrease of 3.0 µm in VIVID); subsequently, there were further mean reductions of 285.6 and 313.4 µm in VISTA and VIVID, respectively, through week 100.

"Intravitreal aflibercept injection improves visual and anatomic outcomes in eyes experiencing substantial vision loss after macular laser photocoagulation for DME," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Regeneron (the manufacturer of aflibercept) and Bayer HealthCare, both of which funded the VISTA and VIVID trials.

Explore further: High-priced drugs used to treat diabetic macular edema not cost-effective

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