Aim: Presentation of the 1-year results of aflibercept treatment in patients suffering from diabetic macular edema (DME) and comparison of the response to treatment of patients with different baseline central retinal thickness (CRT).
Methods: This was a multicentre, retrospective observational study of a series of cases. Patients with DME were treated in a fixed regimen (5 injections at 1-monthly intervals and then injections at 2-monthly intervals). The period of follow-up was 12 months. The development of best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and CRT was evaluated. Measurements were performed prior to the commencement of treatment and then after 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 months.
Results: The therapeutically naive group consisted of 82 eyes of 79 patients. The total cohort of patients was divided into 3 groups according to the baseline values of CRT. The first group was composed of 28 eyes with baseline CRT < 450 μm (34.1%), the second included 25 eyes with CRT in the range of 450–550 μm (30.5%), and the third group consisted of 29 eyes with baseline CRT > 550 μm (35.4%). The average baseline BCVA and SD in the first group was 66 ±7.1 letters ETDRS optotypes, and then 70 ±7 letters, 69.6 ±7.3 letters, and 71.3 ±7 letters at the follow-ups after 4, 8, and 12 months. The average baseline value of CRT and SD in the first group was 379 ±48.6 μm, and then 337.1 ±76.5 μm, 320.2 ±74.1 μm, and 315.1 ±62.2 μm after 4, 8, and 12 months. The average baseline BCVA and SD in the second group was 64.1 ±9.7 ETDRS letters, and then 66.9 ±10 letters, 70 ±9.9 letters, and 70.5 ±11.5 letters after 4, 8, and 12 months. The average baseline value of CRT and SD in the second group was 497.4 ±76.4 μm, and then 376.5 ±106.1 μm, 360.8 ±70 μm, and 351.3 ±91.3 μm after 4, 8, and 12 months. In the third group, the average baseline value of BCVA and SD was 59.7 ±10.4 ETDRS letters, and then 65 ±10.6 letters, 64.8 ±9.6 letters, and 67 ±10 letters after 4, 8, and 12 months. The average baseline value of CRT and SD in the third group was 639.4 ±79.6 μm, and then 396.7 ±147.1 μm, 416.9 ±139.8 μm, and 368.5 ±109.9 μm after 4, 8, and 12 months. All these changes were statistically significant (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Aflibercept treatment in a fixed regimen in patients suffering from DME results in a statistically significant improvement in BCVA and a decrease in CRT in the first year of treatment. Patients with a higher baseline CRT showed the best anatomical and functional results of the 1-year treatment with aflibercept.