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, 2 (7), 667-675

The Systemic Safety of Ranibizumab in Patients 85 Years and Older With Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration


The Systemic Safety of Ranibizumab in Patients 85 Years and Older With Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Pravin U Dugel et al. Ophthalmol Retina.


Objective: Ranibizumab safety is well established for treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD), but less is known about the risk of systemic serious adverse events (SAEs), specifically among patients with heightened baseline risk due to age (≥85 years). This analysis examines whether patients ≥85 years of age versus those <85 years experience an increased risk of key systemic SAEs during intravitreal ranibizumab treatment for nAMD.

Design: Retrospective, pooled analysis of safety data from 5 phase III/IIIb multicenter randomized clinical trials in patients with nAMD: ANCHOR, MARINA, PIER, SAILOR, and HARBOR.

Participants: Patients with nAMD receiving ranibizumab (n = 4347) or control (sham/verteporfin photodynamic therapy, n = 441) treatment included in the safety-evaluable set of the 5 trials.

Methods: The incidence of nonocular SAEs was analyzed stratified by age (<85 years [n = 3795] vs ≥85 years [n = 993]), treatment (control, ranibizumab 0.3 mg, ranibizumab 0.5 mg, ranibizumab 2.0 mg), and injection frequency (monthly, as needed [PRN]).

Main outcome measures: Incidence of key systemic SAEs, defined as total nonocular SAEs, deaths, cardiovascular events, cerebrovascular (CBV) events, and Antiplatelet Trialists' Collaboration events.

Results: The MARINA and ANCHOR trials had greater rates of key SAEs for patients ≥85 years versus those <85 years. Ranibizumab exposure did not increase the risk of most SAEs in elderly patients; for CBV events and death, the effect of ranibizumab versus control treatment for age ≥85 years was not interpretable due to small number of events (CBV: n = 2, 2, 5 for control, ranibizumab 0.3 mg, and ranibizumab 0.5 mg, respectively; death: n = 2, 4, 5, respectively). Across all 5 trials, an increased risk was found for age ≥85 years versus <85 years for the marketed dose of ranibizumab 0.5 mg. In the HARBOR trial, increased rates of key SAEs (excluding total nonocular SAEs) for age ≥85 years versus <85 years were observed with monthly dosing but not with PRN dosing; event rates were similar for 2.0 mg versus 0.5 mg.

Conclusions: Consistent with general trends, the risk of key systemic SAEs was associated with age ≥85 years versus <85 years, but not with ranibizumab drug exposure. The difference between monthly versus PRN was inconclusive. There was no evidence of a dose effect. Interpretation of this retrospective analysis is limited because it was not prospectively powered for statistically definitive conclusions.

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