Study of diagnosis of wet age-related macular degeneration reaches milestone

Study of diagnosis of wet age-related macular degeneration reaches milestone

A team of researchers led by Prof Usha Chakravarthy from Queen’s University Belfast, and HSRU’s Prof Craig Ramsay have recently completed the analysis of a large research study into the diagnosis of wet AMD. The study was co-ordinated by our Clinical Trials Unit (CHaRT) and funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme.

When wet AMD is detected in one eye, patients attend regular treatment appointments and the unaffected eye is monitored too for early signs of the disease developing. The EDNA study (Early Detection of Neovascular Age-related macular degeneration) utilised this, with most study data being collected at these routine visits. The current standard test for wet AMD is called a fundus fluorescein angiography (FFA) which is invasive and can cause unpleasant side effects in patients. The EDNA study set out to investigate which of the following 5 non-invasive monitoring tests was best at picking up Wet AMD: an examination of the back of the eye, an OCT scan, a standard sight test, use of an Amsler chart, or asking the patient how they felt their sight was in the ‘good’ eye.

The study enrolled 552 participants attending eye clinics in NHS hospitals across the UK who had a recent diagnosis of nAMD in one eye, and their unaffected eye was monitored during routine clinic appointments for three years. Patients with nAMD were involved in the study oversight throughout, advising and commenting on the design and progress of the study and attending study meetings such as the yearly Investigator Meetings. We managed our final meeting in early 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

After 6 years hard work the analysis is complete and the study team have submitted the monograph to the NIHR in September 2020. So now your interest has been piqued you'd probably like to know the results? Unfortunately, you'll need to wait a little longer…we expect the results from the study to be published in the NIHR HTA journal in 2021 and information will also then be publicly available on the EDNA study web site so keep an eye out for this.

Although we’re all working from home, Katie, Gillian, Beatriz and Pauline from the study office managed a little ‘virtual’ celebration!  

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