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David Alter, Maureen Kelly, Megan Buchaklian; Lack of an Association Between Aspirin Use and Progression to Exudative Age Related Macular Degeneration in the Unaffected Eye of Patients Currently Being Treated with anti-VEGF agents. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):5211.
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The purpose of this study was to find out if patients taking aspirin and were being treated for Exudative Age Related Macular Degeneration (ExARMD) were at significantly different risk for the eventual involvement in their second or unaffected eye.
A retrospective chart review of 339 consecutive patients presenting with ExARMD in one eye over an eight year period was performed. A spreadsheet was generated and data for all individual patients was entered with regard to various parameters, including anti-coagulant use. Statistical analysis was then performed.
Approximately 40% of our patients reported aspirin use (139/339). Results showed 30.9% of aspirin users and 30.5% of non-aspirin users developed ExARMD in their previously unaffected eye. Since patients presented at different times, yearly progression rates of aspirin users and non-users were compared to ensure that there is no bias based on date of presentation. When aspirin users were compared to non-aspirin users, 10.8% vs 12% of patients progressed in the unaffected eye within the first year. Within two years, 16.5% vs 22.5% had progressed. Approximately 24.5% vs 26.5% showed progression within three years. Within four years, 26.6% vs 29.5% progressed. At five years, 29.5% vs 30% had progressed. A total of 30.9% vs 30.5% progressed within six years of diagnosis.
Aspirin use is very common in patients presenting with ExARMD. Clinicians are often questioned as to whether or not patients with ExARMD should discontinue aspirin use to lessen the risk of visual loss. Since the first eye often presents with poor vision, the preservation of a healthy unaffected eye is of the utmost importance. Our results show that aspirin use does not appear to be associated with progression of ExARMD in the contralateral/unaffected eye.
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