Purpose: To generate conclusive evidence regarding the noninferiority of intravitreal bevacizumab compared with ranibizumab in patients with diabetic macular edema (DME). Design: Comparative, randomized, double-masked, multicenter, noninferiority clinical trial. Participants: Eligible patients were older than 18 years, diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus, with glycosylated hemoglobin of less than 12%, central area thickness of more than 325 μm, and visual impairment from DME with a best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) between 24 letters and 78 letters. Methods: From June 2012 through February 2018, a total of 170 participants were randomized to receive 6 monthly injections of either 1.25 mg bevacizumab (n = 86) or 0.5 mg ranibizumab (n = 84). Main Outcome Measures: Primary outcome was change in BCVA from baseline to month 6 compared between the 2 treatment arms. The noninferiority margin was 3.5 letters. Results: The difference in mean BCVA between treatment arms was 1.8 letters in favor of ranibizumab after 6 months of follow-up; BCVA improved by 4.9±6.7 letters in the bevacizumab group and 6.7±8.7 letters in the ranibizumab group. The lower bound of the 2-sided 90% confidence interval (CI) was –3.626 letters, exceeding the noninferiority margin of 3.5 letters. Central area thickness decreased more with ranibizumab (138.2±114.3 μm) compared with bevacizumab (64.2±104.2 μm). In a post hoc subgroup analysis, participants with a worse BCVA at baseline (≤69 letters) improved by 6.7±7.0 letters with bevacizumab and 10.4±10.0 letters with ranibizumab, and central area thickness decreased significantly more in the ranibizumab arm of this subgroup compared with the bevacizumab arm. Participants with an initially better BCVA at baseline (≥70 letters) did not demonstrate differences in BCVA or OCT outcomes between treatment arms. Conclusions: Based on change in BCVA from baseline to month 6, the noninferiority of 1.25 mg bevacizumab to 0.5 mg ranibizumab was not confirmed. Only the subgroup of patients with a lower BCVA at baseline showed better visual acuity and anatomic outcomes with ranibizumab. Our study confirmed the potential differential efficacy of anti–vascular endothelial growth factor agents in the treatment of DME as well as the difference in response between patient groups with different baseline visual acuities.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
R.O.S.: Consultant ? Oxurion, IDx; Financial support ? Novartis, Bayer, OptosSupported by ZonMw, The Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development, The Hague, The Netherlands (grant no.: 171202019). The sponsor or funding organization had no role in the design or conduct of this research. Financial Disclosure(s): Obtained funding: Schlingemann
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