Results from major clinical trials support anti-VEGF therapy as first-line treatment for macular edema, secondary to retinal vein occlusion (RVO), and indicate that when patients respond, it may be possible to reduce the frequency of injections, particularly after one year.
However, more research is needed to better understand approaches for patients who do not respond optimally to anti-VEGF therapy and the long-term management of this chronic disease, said Francísco J. Rodriguez, MD.
“Loss of visual function in patients with central or branch RVO is mainly caused by macular edema,” said Dr. Rodríguez, scientific director, Fundación Oftalmológica Nacional, and chairman, Department of Ophthalmology, Universidad del Rosario School of Medicine, Bogotá, Columbia. “Treatment for these patients has been transformed with the use of intravitreal injection of anti-VEGF agents. But, RVO is a chronic disease and its management requires a patient-centric individualized approach that should be based on close follow-up.”
Dr. Rodríguez added that the prognosis is improved when there is early intervention and that it is important to continue seeing patients over the long-term. More studies are needed to see how physicians might optimize best-corrected-visual acuity for these patients with regimens that are safe and reduce treatment cost and burden.