Optical coherence tomography angiography characteristics of choroidal neovascularization requiring varied dosing frequencies in treat-and-extend management: An analysis of the AVATAR study

Atsuro Uchida, Ming Hu, Amy Babiuch, Sunil K. Srivastava, Rishi P. Singh, Peter K. Kaiser, Katherine Talcott, Aleksandra Rachitskaya, Justis P. Ehlers

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Purpose To evaluate optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) characteristics of choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in eyes requiring different treatment frequency of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapy for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (NVAMD). Design Prospective observational case series. Methods Subjects who had undergone anti-VEGF treatment for NVAMD in the AVATAR study were subdivided into 3 groups depending on required anti-VEGF dosing: (i) treat-and-extend requiring every 4–6 weeks dosing (TEq4-6w), (ii) treat-and-extend requiring every 7–12 weeks dosing (TEq7-12w), (iii) eyes not requiring injection within last 12 months (PRN >12mo). OCTA images were evaluated for the morphological characteristics of CNV and the choriocapillaris flow void. Results Study consisted 40 eyes of 31 patients with a mean age of 79.9 ± 6.2 years. CNV morphology analysis on OCTA was feasible in 29 (73%) eyes. Ninety percent of CNVs in TEq7-12w group were irregular in shape involving foveal center, while 67% of CNVs in PRN>12mo group were circular in shape sparing foveal center. Among three groups, statistical difference was found in CNV shape (P = .012) and CNV location (P = .003), while no statistical difference was found in the CNV area (P = .14), vessel density (P = .19), presence of core vessels (P = .23), the presence of small margin loops (P = .20), large margin loops (P = .14), CNV maturity (P = .40), or the mean percentage of choriocapillaris area with flow void (P = .66). Conclusion The combination of CNV sparing the foveal center with higher circularity may suggest a clinically inactive CNV following initial anti-VEGF therapy. We found minimal distinguishing OCTA characteristics between those eyes that required ongoing therapy with the treat-and-extend regimen. More research is needed to identify specific CNV characteristics on OCTA that may become a useful tool for the management of NVAMD and timing of treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0218889
JournalPloS one
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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