Aim: To investigate the association between VEGF gene SNPs and early response to intravitreal ranibizumab for exudative age-related macular degeneration.
Materials & methods: Sixty-four patients (64 eyes) were prospectively enrolled and treated for neovascular age-related macular degeneration with ranibizumab monotherapy. Visual acuity was measured using the ETDRS chart. A loading phase of 3 monthly intravitreal injections of ranibizumab 0.5 mg/0.05 ml was performed. The analyzed VEGF-A gene SNPs were rs699947 (-2578A/C) and rs1570360 (-1154G/A); the allelic discrimination was performed in real-time PCR platform. The difference of best corrected visual acuity (ETDRS letters) read before and after treatment was considered as functional outcome.
Results: Ranibizumab was significantly more effective as measured by best corrected visual acuity in patients harboring the VEGF-A -2578C allele (from +6.26 to +7.44 ETDRS letters), whereas patients carrying the VEGF-A -2578AA genotype revealed an absence of early functional response to ranibizumab (-1.78 ETDRS letters; p = 0.0192).
Conclusion: This study suggests that the VEGF-A -2578A/C SNP may represent an important molecular determinant of the early functional outcome of ranibizumab. Original submitted 3 December 2012; Revision submitted 18 February 2013.