PURPOSE: To describe our managing strategy for COVID-19 emergency, to evaluate the adherence to intravitreal treatment (AtT) rate during the outbreak in a referral hospital in Milan, and to correlate it with patients' clinical features. METHODS: The AtT rate of patients with scheduled intravitreal injections during the COVID-19 outbreak from February 23, 2020 to March 31, 2020 was compared with the previous trimester and with March 2019. The impact of age, sex, visual function, and diagnosis on the AtT rate during unlocked/locked weeks (from March 8th) was evaluated. RESULTS: Of 650 consecutive patients with scheduled intravitreal injections, the AtT rate during the COVID-19 outbreak was 0.37. This was significantly lower compared with AtT registered in the previous trimester (0.92) and in the same weeks in 2019 (0.90) (both P < 0.001). Patients adherent to treatment were significantly younger (P < 0.001) and had a lower best-corrected visual acuity in the fellow eye (P = 0.046). During the lockdown weeks, the AtT rate was significantly lower than in the two unlocked weeks (0.19 vs. 0.73, P < 0.001). In addition, the AtT rate in patients classified as "emergent" during the lockdown weeks was 0.60. CONCLUSION: These preliminary results can help the retina specialist community to foresee this unique scenario and to develop successful management strategies.
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