Factors Associated with Worsening Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy in Eyes Treated with Panretinal Photocoagulation or Ranibizumab

Susan B Bressler, Wesley T. Beaulieu, Adam R. Glassman, Jeffrey G. Gross, Lee M. Jampol, Michele Melia, Mark A. Peters, Michael E. Rauser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: To compare rates and identify predictive factors for events that represent worsening of proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) in eyes treated with panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) or ranibizumab. Design: Randomized clinical trial (55 United States sites). Participants: Three hundred ninety-four study eyes from 305 adults with PDR, visual acuity (VA) 20/320 or better, and no history of PRP. Intervention: Panretinal photocoagulation or intravitreous ranibizumab injections (0.5 mg/0.05 ml). Main Outcome Measures: Time from randomization to a composite PDR-worsening outcome defined as the first occurrence of vitreous hemorrhage, retinal detachment, anterior segment neovascularization, or neovascular glaucoma. Results: Through 2 years, the cumulative probability of worsening PDR was 42% (PRP) versus 34% (ranibizumab; hazard ratio [HR], 1.33; 99% confidence interval [CI], 0.90 to 1.98; P = 0.063). Worse baseline levels of diabetic retinopathy severity (Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study scale) were associated with increased risk of worsening PDR, regardless of treatment group (64% [high-risk PDR or worse] vs. 23% [moderate PDR or better]; HR, 3.97; 99% CI, 2.48 to 6.36; P < 0.001). In the PRP group, eyes receiving pattern scan versus conventional single-spot PRP also were at higher risk for worsening PDR (60% vs. 39%; HR, 2.04; 99% CI, 1.02 to 4.08; P = 0.008), regardless of the number of spots placed or the number of sittings to complete the initial PRP. Eyes in both groups with vision-impairing (VA 20/32 or worse) center-involved diabetic macular edema (DME) at baseline were required to receive ranibizumab for center-involved DME. Therefore the composite outcome was compared by treatment in the subgroup of eyes that did not have vision-impairing center-involved DME at baseline. For these eyes, the rate of PDR-worsening was greater with PRP than ranibizumab (45% vs. 31%; HR, 1.62; 99% CI, 91.01 to 2.60; P = 0.008). Conclusions: In eyes with PDR, ranibizumab resulted in less PDR worsening compared with PRP, especially in eyes not required to receive ranibizumab for center-involved DME. Although anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy requires a more frequent visit schedule than PRP, these findings provide additional evidence supporting the use of ranibizumab as an alternative therapy to PRP for PDR, at least through 2 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - Sep 7 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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