Purpose: To evaluate the results of a 3-year follow-up of intravitreal pegaptanib sodium injection as maintenance therapy for the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in Japanese patients. Methods: In this prospective, uncontrolled interventional study, 20 eyes of 19 patients with treatment-naïve AMD who had received 3 consecutive monthly injections of 0.5 mg/0.05 mL ranibizumab as the induction treatment and had shown clinical/anatomical improvement were enrolled. An intravitreal injection of 0.3 mg/0.09 mL pegaptanib sodium was administered as the maintenance therapy every 6 weeks. Booster treatments using ranibizumab were allowed if clinical deterioration was judged to be present. The primary outcome measures were the best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and the central foveal thickness (CFT) as evaluated using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography. Results: Sixteen of the 20 eyes (80 %) were assessed at the 3-year follow-up. The mean logMAR BCVA improved significantly from 0.56 ± 0.31 before the induction treatment to 0.24 ± 0.25 at baseline (P < 0.001) and was well maintained at 156 weeks (0.25 ± 0.28, P = 0.938). Moreover, the mean CFT also decreased significantly from 346 ± 111 μm before the induction treatment to 232 ± 54 μm at baseline (P < 0.001) and was well preserved at 156 weeks (210 ± 59 μm, P = 0.278). Thirteen eyes (81.3 %) received an unscheduled booster treatment, and no severe systemic or ocular side effects occurred during follow-up. Conclusion: Intravitreal pegaptanib sodium injection as the maintenance therapy was effective in stabilizing the vision of patients with AMD in whom induction treatment led to improved BCVA, as evaluated at the 3-year follow-up.
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