A study carried out by researchers at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has found that patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) that are treated with injections of ranibizumab and aflibercept achieve an improvement in their vision. The improvements in vision were significantly better for younger patients and those who had a greater number of injections.
Wet AMD is the growth of new blood vessels in the macula, causing the loss of central vision. The injections used in this study contain factors that block these new blood vessels from forming in the macula.
The study, published in BMJ Open, used anonymised electronic medical records data from 3,357 wet AMD patients. The data, which was depersonalised and made publicly available, included information on the injections each patient received and how their vision changed over two years of treatment. This data set is the largest single-centre cohort of patients receiving treatment for wet AMD in the world.
The way electronic medical records data were used in this study is an example of how making depersonalised raw data openly available to the research community can aid scientific progress.
Dr Pearse Keane from Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, corresponding author of the study, commented:
“Our study demonstrated that patients treated with ranibizumab or aflibercept for wet AMD achieve good visual outcomes, particularly those patients who present at an earlier age and who receive more injections.
“Electronic medical records have the potential to make retrospective study populations more representative of real life. This study shows the value of making this data anonymised and publicly available, to provide a valuable open science resource.”
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