Background/aims: The prospective, non-interventional ORCA module of the OCEAN study (Observation of Treatment Patterns with Lucentis in Approved Indications) evaluated the qualiy of spectral domain-optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) image interpretation and treatment decisions by clinicians in Germany and the impact on visual outcomes over 24 months in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD).
Methods: 2286 SD-OCT scans of 205 eyes were independently evaluated by clinicians and reading centres (RCs) regarding signs of choroidal neovascularisation (CNV) activity, including presence of intraretinal fluid, subretinal fluid, and/or increase in pigment epithelial detachments. Agreement between clinicians and RCs was calculated. Treatment decisions by clinicians and the impact on treatment outcomes were evaluated.
Results: CNV activity was detected by RCs on 1578 scans (69.0%) and by clinicians on 1392 scans (60.9%), with agreement in 74.9% of cases. Of the 1578 scans with RC detected CNV activity, anti-vascular endothelial growth factor injections were performed by clinicians in only 35.5% (560/1578). In 19.7% of cases (311/1578), lack of treatment was justified by patients request, termination criteria or chronic cystoid spaces without other signs for CNV activity. In 44.8% of cases (707/1578) with RC detected CNV activity, clinicians claimed no treatment was necessary despite having correctly detected CNV activity in about 2/3 of these cases. In 34% of cases with presumed undertreatment, visual acuity declined in the following visit.
Conclusion: Although broad agreement on CNV activity parameters was observed between clinicians and RCs, correct identification of CNV activity did not always lead to the initiation of (re-)treatment. To preserve vision over time, correct interpretation of SD-OCT scans and careful retreatment decisions are required.
Trial registration number: NCT02194803.
Keywords: macula; neovascularisation; retina.
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