Study compares efficacy of intravitreal ranibizumab and aflibercept in DME

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Intravitreal ranibizumab (IVR) and intravitreal aflibercept (IVA) can achieve positive long-term visual and anatomical responses in patients with diabetic macular edema (DME), according to a study.

The retrospective study involved 403 eyes from 235 treatment-naïve patients. The patients were monitored for up to 36 months.

Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and central macular thickness (CMT) were assessed at baseline, and at the end of years 1, 2, and 3. The primary objective of the study was to determine the change in BCVA and CMT each year from baseline, as well as to examine the need for additional treatments such as laser therapy or steroid injections.

The study cohort consisted of 198 eyes in the IVR group and 205 eyes in the IVA group. At baseline, the IVA group had lower mean BCVA compared to the IVR group.

Results from the study indicated that at year 1, there was a statistically significant difference in the change in mean BCVA between the 2 groups, favoring IVA. However, this difference did not persist at years 2 and 3, with both treatments showing comparable results.

Although the mean total number of injections administered over the study period was similar between the IVR and IVA groups, the IVR group required more adjuvant steroid treatments. This difference could impact the frequency of medical visits and associated treatment costs.

Akbas YB, Alagoz C, Cakmak S, et al. Three year outcomes of intravitreal ranibizumab and aflibercept treatment of patients with diabetic macular edema: A comparative study. Ther Adv Ophthalmol. 2023;15:25158414231195174. doi: 10.1177/25158414231195174. PMID: 37649968; PMCID: PMC10464826.