Objective: To assess safety of repeated intravitreal injections of ranibizumab in treating neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and to assess changes in visual acuity (VA) and AMD lesion characteristics.
Design: Multicenter, controlled, open-label, clinical trial.
Participants: Sixty-four patients with subfoveal predominantly or minimally classic AMD-related choroidal neovascularization.
Methods: In part 1, subjects were randomized to monthly intravitreal ranibizumab for 3 months (4 injections of 0.3 mg or 1 injection of 0.3 mg followed by 3 injections of 0.5 mg; n = 53) or usual care (UC; n = 11). In part 2, subjects could continue their regimen for 3 additional months or cross over to the alternative treatment.
Main outcome measures: Adverse events (AEs), intraocular pressure (IOP), VA, and lesion characteristics assessed by fluorescein angiography and fundus photography.
Results: Of the 64 randomized subjects, 62 completed the 6-month study. Twenty of 25 subjects (80%) randomized to 0.3 mg, and 22 of 28 subjects (79%) randomized to 0.5-mg ranibizumab in part 1 continued on that treatment in part 2; 9 of 11 (82%) subjects randomized to UC in part 1 crossed over to ranibizumab treatment in part 2. The most common AEs with ranibizumab were reversible inflammation and minor injection-site hemorrhages. Serious AEs were iridocyclitis, endophthalmitis, and central retinal vein occlusion (1 subject each). Postinjection, IOP increased transiently in 22.6% of ranibizumab-treated eyes in parts 1 and 2. After 4 ranibizumab injections (day 98), mean (+/- standard deviation) VA had increased 9.4+/-13.3 and 9.1+/-17.2 letters in the 0.3- and 0.5-mg groups, respectively, but had decreased 5.1+/-9.6 letters with UC. In part 2 (day 210), VA increased from baseline 12.8+/-14.7 and 15.0+/-14.2 letters in subjects continuing on 0.3 and 0.5 mg, respectively. Visual acuity improved from baseline > or =15 letters in 26% (day 98) and 45% (day 210) of subjects initially randomized to and continuing on ranibizumab, respectively, and areas of leakage and subretinal fluid decreased. No UC subject had a > or =15-letter improvement at day 98.
Conclusions: Repeated intravitreal injections of ranibizumab had a good safety profile and were associated with improved VA and decreased leakage from choroidal neovascularization in subjects with neovascular AMD.