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Vitrectomy, subretinal Tissue plasminogen activator and Intravitreal Gas for submacular haemorrhage secondary to Exudative Age-Related macular degeneration (TIGER): study protocol for a phase 3, pan-European, two-group, non-commercial, active-control, observer-masked, superiority, randomised controlled surgical trial

Lookup NU author(s): Professor David SteelORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2022, The Author(s). Background: Neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can be associated with large submacular haemorrhage (SMH). The natural history of SMH is very poor, with typically marked and permanent loss of central vision in the affected eye. Practice surveys indicate varied management approaches including observation, intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy, intravitreal gas to pneumatically displace SMH, intravitreal alteplase (tissue plasminogen activator, TPA) to dissolve the clot, subretinal TPA via vitrectomy, and varying combinations thereof. No large, published, randomised controlled trials have compared these management options. Methods: TIGER is a phase 3, pan-European, two-group, active-control, observer-masked, superiority, randomised controlled surgical trial. Eligible participants have large, fovea-involving SMH of no more than 15 days duration due to treatment-naïve or previously treated neovascular AMD, including idiopathic polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy and retinal angiomatous proliferation. A total of 210 participants are randomised in a 1:1 ratio to pars plana vitrectomy, off-label subretinal TPA up to 25 μg in 0.25 ml, intravitreal 20% sulfahexafluoride gas and intravitreal aflibercept, or intravitreal aflibercept monotherapy. Aflibercept 2 mg is administered to both groups monthly for 3 doses, then 2-monthly to month 12. The primary efficacy outcome is the proportion of participants with best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) gain of ≥ 10 Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy (ETDRS) letters in the study eye at month 12. Secondary efficacy outcomes (at 6 and 12 months unless noted otherwise) are proportion of participants with a BCVA gain of ≥ 10 ETDRS letters at 6 months, mean ETDRS BCVA, Radner maximum reading speed, National Eye Institute 25-item Visual Function Questionnaire composite score, EQ-5D-5L with vision bolt-on score, Short Warwick and Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing score, scotoma size on Humphrey field analyser, and presence/absence of subfoveal fibrosis and/or atrophy and area of fibrosis/atrophy using independent reading centre multimodal image analysis (12 months only). Key safety outcomes are adverse events, serious adverse events, and important medical events, coded using the Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities Preferred Terms. Discussion: The best management of SMH is unknown. TIGER aims to establish if the benefits of SMH surgery outweigh the risks, relative to aflibercept monotherapy. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.govNCT04663750; EudraCT: 2020-004917-10.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Jackson TL, Bunce C, Desai R, Hillenkamp J, Lee CN, Lois N, Peto T, Reeves BC, Steel DH, Edwards RT, van Meurs JC, Wafa H, Wang Y

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Trials

Year: 2022

Volume: 23

Issue: 1

Online publication date: 31/01/2022

Acceptance date: 23/12/2021

Date deposited: 03/03/2022

ISSN (electronic): 1745-6215

Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd


DOI: 10.1186/s13063-021-05966-3

PubMed id: 35101110


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Funder referenceFunder name
Sub-Macular Haemorrhage Clinical Research Grant Grant Ref: 2036 / 2037