Intravitreal aflibercept for the treatment of patients with diabetic macular edema in routine clinical practice in Latin America: the AQUILA study

Int J Retina Vitreous. 2022 Aug 2;8(1):52. doi: 10.1186/s40942-022-00396-y.


Background: AQUILA (NCT03470103) was a prospective, observational, 12-month cohort study to understand treatment patterns and to evaluate the clinical effectiveness and safety of intravitreal aflibercept (IVT-AFL) in patients from Latin America with diabetic macular edema (DME).

Methods: Treatment-naïve and previously treated (switching to IVT-AFL) patients (aged ≥ 18 years) were enrolled from March 2018, with a primary completion date of September 2020, from Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico. Patients received IVT-AFL in a routine clinical practice setting.

Results: Of 258 patients in the full analysis set, 181 were treatment-naïve and 77 had received previous treatment. The mean ± standard deviation number of IVT-AFL injections by Month 12 was 3.7 ± 1.8 (treatment-naïve) and 4.0 ± 2.2 (previously treated). The median duration from diagnosis to IVT-AFL treatment was 1.8 months (treatment-naïve) and 16.0 months (previously treated). Mean best-corrected visual acuity (Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study letters) improved from baseline to Month 12 by + 8.1 ± 17.7 (treatment-naïve; baseline: 54.5 ± 19.4) and + 4.6 ± 15.4 letters (previously treated; baseline: 52.9 ± 18.6).

Conclusion: AQUILA is the first study to assess the use of IVT-AFL in routine clinical practice in Latin America. Despite few patients being treated with the label-recommended regimen of 5 initial monthly doses or receiving ≥ 8 injections in 12 months, functional and anatomic visual outcomes improved during 12 months of treatment with IVT-AFL. Patients receiving the label-recommended number of injections had numerically greater improvements in visual acuity outcomes. Patients with DME treated regularly and more frequently with IVT-AFL therefore have the potential to achieve outcomes consistent with those observed in interventional studies. Trial registration, NCT03470103. Registered February 5, 2018,

Keywords: Clinical trial; Macula; Vision.

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