Drilling into the database
The study was a retrospective cohort study that analyzed treatment patterns during the first year after DME diagnosis for adults who were entered into the IRIS registry between July 2013 and March 2016 with newly diagnosed, treatment-naïve DME. It included 13,410 patients who met all inclusion/exclusion criteria.
The patients had a mean age of about 65 years, were nearly equally divided between men and women, and were predominantly white (63%). About one-half of the cohort had bilateral DME at presentation, and within that subgroup, mean best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was around 20/60. Among patients with unilateral DME, mean visual acuity was about 20/40.
The majority of patients (58%) were diagnosed with DME by a retina specialist and about 30% were diagnosed by a non-retina ophthalmologist. An optometrist made the diagnosis in the remaining cases.
During the first 28 days after diagnosis, 75% of patients were observed without receiving any treatment. When treatment was given, it was most often with anti-VEGF therapy (received by 16% of the entire cohort) followed by laser (received by 8.5% of the entire cohort). Bevacizumab (Avastin, Genentech) was the most commonly administered anti-VEGF agent followed by aflibercept (Eylea, Regeneron).
Among patients who received early intervention with anti-VEGF therapy, the mean number of injections received in the first year after diagnosis was 4.2. Almost one-half of the patients received 3 or fewer injections, Dr. Willis reported.