Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2023 Jan 9. doi: 10.1007/s00417-022-05944-8. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: The study aims to evaluate changes in contrast sensitivity (CS) during therapy with intravitreal vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME).
METHODS: Prospective, uncontrolled, multicenter study on patients with neovascular AMD or DME who underwent intravitreal injection therapy with Ranibizumab, Aflibercept, or Bevacizumab was conducted. Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and CS measured by Mars Letter Contrast Sensitivity Test (MLCS) and Freiburg Visual Acuity and Contrast Test (FrACT) in logCS were evaluated before 3 consecutive VEGF inhibitor injections, which followed the pro renata regimen in treatment-naïve and pretreated eyes with a maximum of 9 injections. Correlation of MLCS and FrACT was calculated by the Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient.
RESULTS: Eighty eyes of 74 patients (mean age 72.7; SD ± 9.96) were included. BCVA improved significantly from 0.44 (SD ± 0.21) logMAR to 0.38 (SD ± 0.23) logMAR by 0.06 (SD ± 0.14) logMAR values (p < 0.001). CS measured by MLCS increased significantly from 1.27 (SD ± 0.25) logCS to 1.39 (SD ± 0.22) logCS (p < 0.001). CS measured by FrACT also improved significantly from 1.22 (SD ± 0.32) logCS to 1.30 (SD ± 0.29) logCS (p = 0.035). A positive correlation between MLCS and FrACT was found (r = 0.389; p < 0.001). Despite statistical significance, results for BCVA, MLCS, and FrACT failed clinical significance. Overall best test results were achieved with MLCS.
CONCLUSIONS: Intravitreal injection therapy with VEGF inhibitors led to an improvement of BCVA and CS measured by MLCS and FrACT. MLCS was superior and more sensitive compared to FrACT and even BCVA to evaluate CS in elderly patients with macular pathology.