Treatment patterns and visual acuity change of AMD patients, before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns: A large cohort

Dana Barequet, Reut Shor, Ori Segal, Eran Greenbaum, Omer Trivizki, Anat Loewenstein, Gilad Rabina*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To evaluate the impact of the changes in treatment patterns before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic on best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) in previously treated neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) patients. Methods: A multi-centre, retrospective, observational study of consecutive nAMD patients during 2019–2021. Data collected included demographics, BCVA, dates of intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) injections and clinic visits. Results: A total of 1652 eyes of 1652 nAMD patients were included, out of which 850 eyes were assessed in 2019 (pre-COVID-19), 630 eyes were assessed in 2020 (COVID-19) and 974 eyes were assessed in 2021 (post-COVID-19). During the COVID-19 period, the mean number of anti-VEGF injections was significantly lower than the corresponding pre-COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 periods (5.55 compared to 6.13 and 6.60, respectively p < 0.01). A constant lower ratio of injections per patient/month was observed during COVID-19 compared to previous and following years, with a notable decline during March–April, reaching a ratio of 0.4 in 2020 versus 0.65 in 2019 and 0.62 in 2021 (p < 0.01). Baseline BCVA (0.825, p < 0.001), number of injections (−0.007, p < 0.001), gender (−0.027, p = 0.037) and age (0.004, p < 0.001) were shown to be significant predictors of final BCVA. Conclusion: During the COVID-19 period, patients were treated with significantly less intravitreal anti-VEGF injection compared to the previous year with compensation in the following year. These changes in treatment patterns did not have a significant impact on BCVA outcomes. Age, gender, baseline BCVA and number of injections are predictors of final visual outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e322-e327
JournalActa Ophthalmologica
Volume102
Issue number3
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • AMD
  • COVID 19
  • anti-VEGF
  • lockdown
  • neovascular AMD

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