Effect of Intravitreous Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor vs Sham Treatment for Prevention of Vision-Threatening Complications of Diabetic Retinopathy: The Protocol W Randomized Clinical Trial

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Abstract

Importance: The role of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor injections for the management of nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) without center-involved diabetic macular edema (CI-DME) has not been clearly established. Objective: To determine the efficacy of intravitreous aflibercept injections compared with sham treatment in preventing potentially vision-threatening complications in eyes with moderate to severe NPDR. Design, Setting, and Participants: Data for this study were collected between January 15, 2016, and May 28, 2020, from the ongoing DRCR Retina Network Protocol W randomized clinical trial, conducted at 64 US and Canadian sites among 328 adults (399 eyes) with moderate to severe NPDR (Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study severity level, 43-53), without CI-DME. Analyses followed the intent-to-treat principle. Interventions: Eyes were randomly assigned to 2.0 mg of aflibercept injections (n = 200) or sham (n = 199) given at baseline; 1, 2, and 4 months; and every 4 months through 2 years. Between 2 and 4 years, treatment was deferred if the eye had mild NPDR or better. Aflibercept was administered in both groups if CI-DME with vision loss (≥10 letters at 1 visit or 5-9 letters at 2 consecutive visits) or high-risk proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) developed. Main Outcomes and Measures: Development of CI-DME with vision loss or PDR through May 2020, when the last 2-year visit was completed. Results: Among the 328 participants (57.6% men [230 of 399 eyes]; mean [SD] age, 56 [11] years), the 2-year cumulative probability of developing CI-DME with vision loss or PDR was 16.3% with aflibercept vs 43.5% with sham. The overall hazard ratio for either outcome was 0.32 (97.5% CI, 0.21-0.50; P

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Maturi, R. K., Glassman, A. R., Josic, K., Antoszyk, A. N., Blodi, B. A., Jampol, L. M., … Sun, J. K. (2021). Effect of Intravitreous Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor vs Sham Treatment for Prevention of Vision-Threatening Complications of Diabetic Retinopathy: The Protocol W Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Ophthalmology, 139(7), 701–712. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2021.0606

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