Treatment of nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy with an endothelin antagonist: ENDOTHELION (ENDOTHELin antagonist receptor in Ischemic Optic Neuropathy)-a multicentre randomised controlled trial protocol.
BACKGROUND: Nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAAION) is a major cause of blindness in individuals over 50 years of age, with no available effective treatment. The oral dual endothelin receptor antagonist, bosentan, increases retinal optic nerve head blood flow in healthy humans and glaucoma patients. The objective of this trial is to assess the efficacy of bosentan administered at the acute stage in improving outcomes in NAAION patients.
METHODS: ENDOTHELION (ENDOTHELin antagonist receptor in Ischemic Optic Neuropathy) is a phase III, interventional, prospective, multicentre, placebo-controlled randomised double-blind clinical trial. The primary outcome is change in the visual field mean deviation (MD) at 3 months (Humphrey 30-2 SITA standard programme). Secondary outcomes include MD and visual acuity changes up to 24 months, changes in peripapillary retinal nerve fibre and macular ganglion cell layer thickness in the affected eye, as measured by optical coherence tomography, rate of NAAION bilateralisation at 2 years, and quality-of-life. Patients over 50 years of age presenting with typical NAAION of recent onset (less than 21 days) are randomly assigned to either 125 mg oral bosentan or placebo, twice a day, during 8 weeks. Besides visits during the treatment phase, patients attend follow-up visits at 2, 3, 6, 12 and 24 months. The inclusion of patients began in August 2015 at five French University hospital ophthalmology departments and two specialised ophthalmology centres. It is planned to include 86 patients in this trial. To date we have included 72 patients and 49 have completed the full follow-up process.
DISCUSSION: An endothelin receptor antagonist is a potential approach to improving the anatomical and functional prognosis of patients with NAAION. This multicentre double-blind randomised controlled trial is an opportunity to assess (1) the effect of bosentan on the structure and function of the optic nerve in NAAION, at 3 months, (2) the effect of bosentan on the bilateralisation rate at 24 months and (3) the tolerance profile of bosentan in this population.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02377271 . Registered on March 3, 2015.