COVID-19 care delays linked with worse short-term outcomes in neovascular AMD

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Delayed care due to the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with worse short-term outcomes in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a new study.

A total of 100 patients (112 eyes) with neovascular AMD who were evaluated between March 9, 2020 (during the Italian COVID-19 quarantine) and June 12, 2020 (immediately after the quarantine), were included. A complete ophthalmologic evaluation was performed at the initial visit and compared to findings from the 2 preceding visits.

The time interval from the study visit to the first preceding visit was 110.7 ± 37.5 days; from the first preceding visit to the second preceding visit, the time interval was 80.8 ± 39.7 days.

At the study visit, best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was statistically worse compared with the immediately preceding. In approximately 81% of eye there was evidence of exudative disease activity at the first study visit, whereas only 69% of eyes exhibited signs of exudation at the preceding visit. Between the 2 preceding visits there were no differences in BCVA and optical coherence tomography findings.

A multiple regression analysis showed that the difference in BCVA between the study visit and the first preceding visit was significantly associated with the interval time within these 2 visits (P =0.026).

Borrrelli E, Grosso D, Vella G, et al. Short-term outcomes of patients with neovascular exudative AMD: the effect of COVID-19 pandemic. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2020;https://doi.org/10.1007/s00417-020-04955-7.

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