Objective: To report the 12-month results of the first head-to-head comparison of a dexamethasone implant (Ozurdex; Allergan, Inc., Irvine, CA) versus bevacizumab (Avastin; Genentech, South San Francisco, CA) for center-involving diabetic macular edema (DME).
Design: Phase 2, prospective, multicenter, randomized, single-masked clinical trial (clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT01298076).
Participants: We enrolled 88 eyes of 61 patients with center-involving DME.
Methods: Forty-two eyes were randomized to receive bevacizumab every 4 weeks and 46 eyes were randomized to receive a dexamethasone implant every 16 weeks, both pro re nata. Results were analyzed using linear regression with generalized estimation equation methods to account for between-eye correlation.
Main outcome measures: The primary outcome was the proportion of eyes that improved vision by 10 logarithm of minimum angle of resolution letters. Secondary outcomes included mean change in best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), change in central macular thickness (CMT), injection frequency, and adverse events. Patient-reported outcomes were measured using the Impact of Vision Impairment (IVI) questionnaire.
Results: Improvement in BCVA of 10 or more letters was found in 17 of 42 eyes (40%) treated with bevacizumab compared with 19 of 46 dexamethasone implant-treated eyes (41%; P = 0.83). None of the 42 bevacizumab eyes lost 10 letters or more, whereas 5 of 46 (11%) dexamethasone implant eyes did, mostly because of cataract. Mean CMT decreased by 122 μm for bevacizumab eyes and by 187 μm for dexamethasone implant eyes (P = 0.015). Bevacizumab-treated eyes received a mean of 8.6 injections compared with 2.7 injections for dexamethasone implant eyes. Significant improvement in IVI scores occurred for both treatment groups.
Conclusions: Dexamethasone implant achieved similar rates of visual acuity improvement compared with bevacizumab for DME, with superior anatomic outcomes and fewer injections. Both treatments were associated with improvement in visual quality-of-life scores. However, more dexamethasone implant-treated eyes lost vision, mainly because of cataract.
Copyright © 2014 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.