Are Dilated Fundus Examinations Needed for OCT-Guided Retreatment of Exudative Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

Yogin Patel, Daniel M. Miller, Anne E. Fung, Lauren F. Hill, Philip J. Rosenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine whether presence of macular hemorrhage on dilated fundus examination (DFE) or fundus photography influences vision outcomes with OCT-guided pro re nata (PRN) ranibizumab retreatment in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD), we investigated whether hemorrhage without OCT-detectable fluid impacted vision outcomes. Design: Post hoc analysis of prospectively collected data from the 24-month pHase III, double-masked, multicenter, randomized, Active treatment-controlled study of the efficacy and safety of 0.5 mg and 2.0 mg Ranibizumab administered monthly or on an as-needed Basis (PRN) in patients with subfoveal neOvascular age-related macular degeneration (HARBOR) trial ( identifier, NCT00891735). Participants: This post hoc analysis examined 1097 patients from the intention-to-treat population of HARBOR. Methods: Dilated fundus examination and fundus photography were evaluated for hemorrhage, and spectral-domain (SD) OCT images from HARBOR participants were analyzed for macular fluid secondary to macular neovascularization. Agreement between methods was determined for each time point. Visual outcomes were evaluated for 82 patients with evidence of hemorrhage on DFE or fundus photography at 3 months and no evidence of SD-exudative activity requiring retreatment at month 3. Main Outcome Measures: Pooled data from the intention-to-treat population of HARBOR were analyzed for hemorrhage on DFE or fundus photography and exudative activity on SD OCT. A subgroup of PRN patients were analyzed for best-corrected visual acuity gains at 24 months. Results: Most study eyes (89% [973/1095]) showed macular hemorrhages at baseline, declining to 31% (319/1042) at month 3 and stabilizing at 11% (111/989) by month 6 of follow-up. After baseline, exudative activity was detected on SD-OCT in more than 89% of eyes when hemorrhage was present on DFE or fundus photography. Patients not requiring a month 3 PRN ranibizumab injection achieved similar visual gains over 24 months, regardless of month 3 hemorrhage presence versus absence: 9.4 and 8.7 Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study letter scores, respectively (P = .0.74). Conclusions: After 3 initial ranibizumab injections, SD-OCT detected nAMD activity in 89% of eyes when hemorrhage was present on fundus photography. Ranibizumab retreatment guided by monthly SD-OCT achieved similar vision gains with or without injection when hemorrhage was present without OCT-detectable fluid. This suggests that macular hemorrhages without OCT-detectable macular fluid may not require treatment and DFE may not be needed at every visit. These conclusions should be confirmed in a prospective randomized trial before firm recommendations regarding clinical practice can be made.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-147
Number of pages7
JournalOphthalmology Retina
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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