To evaluate the effect of loss to follow up (LTFU) on outcomes in eyes with diabetic macular edema (DME) treated with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).
Retrospective cohort study METHODS: : Single-center study of 90 eyes of 73 patients with non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) and DME treated with anti-VEGF injections who were LTFU for >6 months. Main outcomes were the change in mean visual acuity (VA) and central foveal thickness (CFT) at the return and final visits compared to the visit before LTFU.
Mean age was 64.5 years, mean LTFU duration was 322 days, and mean follow-up duration after return was 502 days. Compared to the mean VA at the visit before LTFU (0.42, Snellen ∼20/52), mean VA worsened at the return visit (0.54, Snellen ∼20/69, p=0.004). No significant change in the mean VA was noted at the 3-month after return visit (0.50, Snellen ∼20/63), the 6-month after return visit (0.46, Snellen ∼20/57), the 12-month after return visit (0.42, Snellen ∼20/52) and the final follow up (0.47, Snellen ∼20/59). When analyzed by NPDR severity before LTFU, no difference in VA was found from the visit before LTFU to the final visit. Mean CFT increased when comparing the visit before LTFU (270 μm) to the return visit (305 μm, p=0.012), but no difference was found by the final visit [247 μm, p=0.07].
Anti-VEGF treated DME patients who were LTFU for a prolonged period experienced a modest decline in VA that recovered after restarting treatment.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.