Morphology and Visual Acuity in Aflibercept and Ranibizumab Therapy for Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration in the VIEW Trials

Ophthalmology. 2016 Jul;123(7):1521-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2016.03.037. Epub 2016 May 4.


Purpose: To compare the efficacy of intravitreal aflibercept and ranibizumab on the exudative activity of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) using optical coherence tomography (OCT) and to correlate morphologic findings with visual acuity (VA) outcomes.

Design: Post hoc analysis of the prospective VIEW trials.

Participants: Data of 1815 patients randomized to 0.5 mg ranibizumab every 4 weeks (Q4wks), 2 mg aflibercept Q4wks, or 2 mg aflibercept every 8 weeks (Q8wks).

Methods: Standardized OCT evaluation was performed by masked reading centers for the presence of intraretinal cystoid fluid (IRC), subretinal fluid (SRF), and pigment epithelial detachment (PED). Rates of feature resolution were compared between drugs and regimen. Associations between morphologic features and VA were analyzed using multivariate modeling.

Main outcome measures: Resolution rates of IRC, SRF, and PED, and associations between morphology and VA.

Results: At baseline, the proportions of eyes with IRC, SRF, and PED were balanced between the aflibercept and ranibizumab groups. At week 12, IRC resolved in 50% of eyes with both agents. Subretinal fluid resolved in 70% of pooled aflibercept-treated eyes and in 59% of ranibizumab-treated eyes, and PED resolved in 29% and 24% of pooled aflibercept-treated eyes and ranibizumab-treated eyes, respectively. At week 52, IRC resolved in 57% (aflibercept Q4wks), 50% (aflibercept Q8wks), and 52% (ranibizumab) of patients; SRF resolved in 75% (both aflibercept Q4wks/Q8wks) and 66% (ranibizumab) of patients; and PED resolved in 40% (aflibercept Q4wks), 34% (aflibercept Q8wks), and 28% (ranibizumab) of patients. During fixed dosing (weeks 12-52) all exudative features showed synchronized fluctuations after treatment-free visits in the Q8wks aflibercept regimen. During pro re nata dosing (weeks 52-96), greater proportions of patients showed recurrent fluid in all treatment arms. Presence of IRC was generally associated with lower VA at baseline, which translated into poorer final VA outcomes.

Conclusions: Fluid resolution in all compartments was consistently greater for aflibercept Q4wks than for aflibercept Q8wks and ranibizumab. At week 52, Q8wks aflibercept-treated eyes were, on average, as dry as or drier than with ranibizumab despite the extended treatment interval. Independent of agent or regimen, preexisting morphologic features of the retina at baseline markedly influenced VA outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intravitreal Injections
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Ranibizumab / therapeutic use*
  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor / therapeutic use*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / therapeutic use*
  • Retina / pathology*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Visual Acuity / drug effects*
  • Visual Acuity / physiology
  • Wet Macular Degeneration / drug therapy*
  • Wet Macular Degeneration / pathology
  • Wet Macular Degeneration / physiopathology


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • aflibercept
  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor
  • Ranibizumab