Response to ranibizumab therapy in neovascular AMD - an evaluation of good and bad responders

Klin Monbl Augenheilkd. 2010 Apr;227(4):244-8. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1245203. Epub 2010 Apr 20.


Background: Treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) with Lucentis shows a broad spectrum regarding the course of visual acuity (VA). While some patients show a good response (increase in VA), others disclose much less promising results.

Patients and methods: A retrospective data analysis of all eyes treated for neovascular AMD at the University Hospital of Zurich, Switzerland for at least 12 months was carried out. The courses of VA between the 90th (good responders, GR) and the 10th (bad responders, BR) percentiles were compared at 3, 12 and 24 months from baseline. An analysis regarding demographic data, lesion type and size as well as injection frequency and visits was done and predictive factors for GR and BR were evaluated.

Results: Marked differences in the course of VA between GR (n = 30) and BR (n = 30) are already observed 3 months from baseline. In GR the gains in VA after 3, 12 and 24 were 15.7 +/- 9 letters ETDRS, 25.3 +/- 7 and 14.0 +/- 14. BR showed a deterioration of 8.3 +/- 11 letters ETDRS after 3, 22.1 +/- 8 after 12 and 23.6 +/- 13 after 24 months. The gender distribution was equal with a higher percentage of female patients (64 % in BR and 66 % in GR). The baseline VA was statistically significantly lower in GR (45.7 +/- 10 vs. 55.4 +/- 11, p < 0.05) than in BR. No other significant differences in baseline data were found, and no predictor for group membership could be identified.

Conclusions: Only the course of VA in the first three months seems to be of value for an estimation of the response to treatment. In the future the response to treatment in the early phase may influence the treatment algorithm and the injection frequency.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration / drug therapy*
  • Macular Degeneration / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Ranibizumab
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Switzerland / epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Ranibizumab