Purpose: To investigate the effects on near visual acuity, reading speed, central visual field and related quality of life of ranibizumab treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Methods: The study was a prospective, non-comparative consecutive case series, followed for 3 months and investigator-driven. Thirty eyes of 30 patients with wet AMD were included, mean age 75 years (range 69-95 years). In addition to a full ophthalmological examination--including best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA; Early Treatment Diabetic Research Study chart), fundus biomicroscopy, fundus photography, fluorescein angiography, indocyanine green angiography (occult cases) and ocular coherence tomography--near visual acuity, reading speed, central visual field and quality of life for related activities were also investigated at baseline and at 3 months after ranibizumab treatment.
Results: Mean BCVA increased from 62 +/- 11 to 66 +/- 14 letters at 3 months (7%; p = 0.018). Near vision improved from 9 +/- 5 to 6 +/- 3 points (33%; p = 0.0006) and reading speed increased from 59 +/- 40 to 85 +/- 50 words/min (44%; p < 0.0001). The mean deviation from normal of the visual field improved from -9 +/- 7 to -6 +/- 5 dB (33%; p < 0.0001). Quality of life improved for distance activities from 54 +/- 28 to 63 +/- 28 points (17%; p < 0.0001) but significantly (p = 0.024) more for near activities, from 49 +/- 26 to 63 +/- 26 points (29%; p < 0.0001). Reading newspaper text in the group in which the better eye was treated showed the highest increase in quality of life score of all: 116%.
Conclusion: The increase in BCVA after ranibizumab treatment is well established. The present study also showed significant improvements in other important visual qualities, such as near visual acuity, reading speed, central visual field and several activities influencing quality of life. The improvement was greater for near activities than for distance activities. Therefore, the beneficial effects of ranibizumab treatment shown here are more extensive than those reported previously.