Current guidelines on the management of patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) lack clear recommendations on the interpretation of fluid as seen on optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging and the incorporation of this information into an ongoing disease treatment strategy. Our objective was to review current guidelines and scientific evidence on the role of fluid as a biomarker in the management of nAMD, and develop a clinically oriented, practical algorithm for diagnosis and management based on a consensus of expert European retinal specialists. PubMed was searched for articles published since 2006 relating to the role of fluid in nAMD. A total of 654 publications were screened for relevance and 66 publications were included for review. Of these, 14 were treatment guidelines, consensus statements and systematic reviews or meta-analyses, in which OCT was consistently recommended as an important tool in the initial diagnosis and ongoing management of nAMD. However, few guidelines distinguished between types of fluid when providing recommendations. A total of 52 publications reported primary evidence from clinical trials, studies, and chart reviews. Observations from these were sometimes inconsistent, but trends were observed with regard to features reported as being predictive of visual outcomes. Based on these findings, diagnostic recommendations and a treatment algorithm based on a treat-and-extend (T&E) regimen were developed. These provide guidance on the diagnosis of nAMD as well as a simple treatment pathway based on the T&E regimen, with treatment decisions made according to the observations of fluid as a critical biomarker for disease activity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems