Purpose: To report the findings at 1 year of a study comparing repeated intravitreal bevacizumab (ivB) and modified Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) macular laser therapy (MLT) in patients with persistent clinically significant diabetic macular edema (CSME).
Design: Prospective, randomized, masked, single-center, 2-year, 2-arm clinical trial.
Participants: A total of 80 eyes of 80 patients with center-involving CSME and at least 1 prior MLT.
Methods: Subjects were randomized to either ivB (6 weekly; minimum of 3 injections and maximum of 9 injections in the first 12 months) or MLT (4 monthly; minimum of 1 treatment and maximum of 4 treatments in the first 12 months).
Main outcome measures: The primary end point was the difference in ETDRS best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) at 12 months between the bevacizumab and laser arms.
Results: The baseline mean ETDRS BCVA was 55.7+/-9.7 (range 34-69) in the bevacizumab group and 54.6+/-8.6 (range 36-68) in the laser arm. The mean ETDRS BCVA at 12 months was 61.3+/-10.4 (range 34-79) in the bevacizumab group and 50.0+/-16.6 (range 8-76) in the laser arm (P = 0.0006). Furthermore, the bevacizumab group gained a median of 8 ETDRS letters, whereas the laser group lost a median of 0.5 ETDRS letters (P = 0.0002). The odds of gaining > or =10 ETDRS letters over 12 months were 5.1 times greater in the bevacizumab group than in the laser group (adjusted odds ratio, 5.1; 95% confidence interval, 1.3-19.7; P = 0.019). At 12 months, central macular thickness decreased from 507+/-145 microm (range 281-900 microm) at baseline to 378+/-134 microm (range 167-699 microm) (P<0.001) in the ivB group, whereas it decreased to a lesser extent in the laser group, from 481+/-121 microm (range 279-844 microm) to 413+/-135 microm (range 170-708 microm) (P = 0.02). The median number of injections was 9 (interquartile range [IQR] 8-9) in the ivB group, and the median number of laser treatments was 3 (IQR 2-4) in the MLT group.
Conclusions: The study provides evidence to support the use of bevacizumab in patients with center-involving CSME without advanced macular ischemia.
Copyright 2010 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.