PURPOSE: Comparing the efficacy of intravitreal injections of bevacizumab to ranibizumab in the treatment of macular edema (ME) resulting from retinal vein occlusion (RVO).
DESIGN: Comparative, randomized, double-masked, multicenter, noninferiority clinical trial. The noninferiority margin was 4 letters.
PARTICIPANTS: Patients with vision loss resulting from ME secondary to a branch or (hemi) central RVO who might benefit from anti-vascular endothelial growth factor treatment were eligible for participation.
METHODS: From June 2012 through February 2018, 277 participants were randomized to receive injections of 1.25 mg bevacizumab (n = 139) or 0.5 mg ranibizumab (n = 138). The follow-up was 6 months with a monthly dosing interval.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome was a change in visual acuity from baseline at 6 months. Changes in the central area thickness and safety were studied as secondary outcomes.
RESULTS: The mean visual acuity (±standard deviation) improved, with 15.3±13.0 letters for bevacizumab and 15.5±13.3 letters for ranibizumab after 6 months of monthly treatment. The lower limit of the 2-sided 90% confidence interval was -1.724 letters, which is within the noninferiority margin of 4 letters. Even in the branch and (hemi-)central RVO subgroups, minimal differences were found in visual acuity outcomes between treatment arms. Changes in central area thickness on OCT at 6 months did not differ significantly between treatment groups, with a decrease of 287.0±231.3 μm in the bevacizumab group and 300.8±224.8 μm in the ranibizumab group. Severe adverse events (SAEs) were also distributed equally over both treatment groups: 10 participants (7.1%) in the bevacizumab group and 13 participants (9.2%) in the ranibizumab group experienced SAEs.
CONCLUSIONS: This study showed, based on the change in visual acuity, that bevacizumab is noninferior to ranibizumab for patients with ME resulting from RVO of either subtype when receiving monthly injections for a period of 6 months. In addition, anatomic and safety outcomes did not differ between treatment groups. Based on our findings, bevacizumab may be an effective alternative to ranibizumab.