PURPOSE: To evaluate the effect of stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) in conjunction with intravitreal injections (IVI) of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) drugs on peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (pRNFL) thickness in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD).
METHODS: This was a retrospective, observational case series of patients with nAMD, who underwent SRT and subsequently had at least 12 months of complete follow-up. After SRT and one mandatory IVI, patients were examined monthly and received further treatment on a pro re nata basis. Examination included spectral-domain optical coherence tomography of the optic disc to measure pRNFL thickness. Patients' data were retrieved from medical records including demographics, disease duration, best-corrected visual acuity, previous number of intravitreal injections, and the type of drug applied.
RESULTS: A total of 35 eyes of 35 patients (76.23 ± 7.05 years) were included. The mean duration of nAMD at time of irradiation was 34.57 ± 16.96 months. During that time, patients received a mean total number of 15.83 ± 6.29 intravitreal injections, 6.86 ± 1.57 within the last 12 months before SRT. After SRT, on average 3.46 ± 2.09 injections were administered over 12 months, resulting in a mean total number of 19.29 ± 6.92 injections at final follow-up. The mean global pRNFL thickness was 97.23 ± 12.55 µm at time of irradiation, 95.54 ± 11.07 µm at 6 month (P = 0.299), and 95.29 ± 12.07 µm at 12 month (P = 0.373) follow-up.
CONCLUSION: SRT in conjunction with anti-VEGF injections did not lead to any significant change in pRNFL thickness over 12 months in patients with nAMD. However, long-term results are not yet available. Therefore, prospective studies with longer follow-up are needed to corroborate these findings.