PURPOSE The prospective, comparative evaluation of combined navigated laser photocoagulation and intravitreal ranibizumab in the treatment of diabetic macular edema has shown advantage of a combination therapy compared to ranibizumab monotherapy at year 1 with significantly reduced injections. The purpose of this retrospective study was to determine the long-term visual gains and need of injections in a 3 year-follow-up period. METHODS Retrospective analysis of patients of the original study in the long-term follow-up from month 12 to 36. BCVA measurements following the original 1 year study were taken using logMAR charts. Injections were provided with standard of care using PRN, based on change in BCVA and CRT using SD-OCT scans. Main outcome measures were change in BCVA and mean number of injections from 12 to 36 months. RESULTS BCVA was stable in both groups from 12 through 36 months, showing a change of 0.16 ± 0.1 log MAR. Following the initial reduction in required injections at month 12, combination therapy patients continued to require 1.3 times fewer injections over the next 24 months (2.91 ± 2.3 vs 3.85±3.7 injections for monotherapy). CONCLUSIONS Combination of navigated laser and ranibizumab achieved BCVA gains equivalent to anti-VEGF monotherapy. These results could be maintained through month 36. Required injections were 2.0 injections lower in year 1 and further 1.3 times fewer in year 2 and 3 in the combination group compared to monotherapy. Adding navigated laser photocoagulation to intravitreal anti-VEGF therapy may still represent a superior therapeutic approach to DME patients.
Herold, T. R., Langer, J., Vounotrypidis, E., Kernt, M., Liegl, R., & Priglinger, S. G. (2018). 3-year-data of combined navigated laser photocoagulation (Navilas) and intravitreal ranibizumab compared to ranibizumab monotherapy in DME patients. PLoS ONE, 13(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0202483