Real-world variability in ranibizumab treatment and associated clinical, quality of life, and safety outcomes over 24 months in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration: the HELIOS study

Clin Ophthalmol. 2013;7:1849-58. doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S49385. Epub 2013 Sep 19.


Introduction: The aim of this study was to examine ranibizumab treatment patterns in "real-world" practice and clinical settings, as well as to assess quality of life outcomes over a 24-month period.

Materials and methods: This was a prospective, observational, multicenter, open-label study of 0.5 mg of ranibizumab administered intravitreally. Patients were followed over 24 ± 3 months with intermediate data points at 6 ± 2 months and 12 ± 2 months, and a limited data point at 2.5 ± 1 month that coincided with the end of the loading phase. Outcomes included visual acuity (Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study), visual function (National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire-25 [NEI VFQ-25]), quality of life (Health Utilities Index Mark III [HUI3]), and safety.

Results: A total of 267 patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (mean ± standard deviation [SD] age = 78.5 ± 7.3 years; 62.4% were female; 34.5% with dual eye involvement; 74.9% were treatment-naïve) were treated (309 eyes were treated). The mean ± SD Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study score at baseline was 56.3 ± 14.3 letters. The mean ± SD number of injections over 24 months was 7.6 ± 4.1, including 2.5 ± 0.7 and 5.9 ± 3.6 during the loading and maintenance phases, respectively, with corresponding treatment intervals of 4.8 ± 1.4 weeks and 11.5 ± 9.5 weeks, respectively. Improvements in visual acuity over baseline were reached at 2.5 months and maintained at 6 months (both P < 0.0001). The mean visual acuity increase over baseline at 12 months was not significant (P = 0.08); the decline over baseline at 24 months statistically significant (P = 0.02). Overall, 94.3% of patients showed stable or improved disease at 6 months and 81.5% of patients showed stable or improved disease at 24 months. At 6 months, improvements over baseline were significant for VFQ-25 (P = 0.03) and HUI3 (P = 0.02), but not at 12 months and 24 months. Improvements in VFQ-25 and HUI3 were maintained at 24 months in 38% and 34% of patients, respectively. In total 78 serious adverse events were reported in 40 patients and 77 nonserious adverse events in 34 patients. Nine serious adverse events and nine nonserious adverse events in 14 patients were suspected to be related to ranibizumab treatment.

Conclusion: The "real-world" clinical effectiveness of ranibizumab was evidenced by the initial improvements over baseline in visual acuity and quality of life, as well as the maintenance of these outcomes at baseline levels at 24 months, and this was observed under variable treatment conditions. The findings underscore the need for individualized treatment with regular monitoring to achieve optimal vision and quality of life outcomes.

Keywords: age-related macular degeneration; neovascular macular degeneration; quality of life; ranibizumab; visual acuity; visual function.