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Polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy and treatments

Gomi, Fumi; Tano, Yasuo

Current Opinion in Ophthalmology: May 2008 - Volume 19 - Issue 3 - p 208–212
doi: 10.1097/ICU.0b013e3282fb7c33
Retinal, vitreous and macular disorders: Edited by Gary C. Brown

Purpose of review This review assesses the current knowledge of the clinical characteristics of polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy and treatments.

Recent findings Polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy is a disease with characteristic choroidal vascular abnormalities. Indocyanine green angiography is essential for diagnosis. The prevalence is higher in Asian people than in Caucasians. Photodynamic therapy is efficacious for treating polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy; 1-year results have shown greater benefit of photodynamic therapy than choroidal neovascularization secondary to age-related macular degeneration. Recurrence, however, seriously affects vision long term during follow-up after photodynamic therapy. The lower efficacy of bevacizumab- a full-length antibody of vascular endothelial growth factor- has been shown for polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy.

Summary Although the polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy and age-related macular degeneration have been known to share common genetic factors, its clinical characteristics including the different responses to photodynamic therapy suggest that polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy is a separate clinical entity from age-related macular degeneration. The results of photodynamic therapy for polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy are encouraging; however, recurrence may affect vision over time. Therapeutic modalities to inhibit development of the exudative choroidal vasculature of polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy are desirable.

Department of Ophthalmology, Osaka University Medical School, Osaka, Japan

Correspondence to Fumi Gomi, MD, Department of Ophthalmology, Osaka University, Graduate School of Medicine, Room E7, 2-2 Yamadaoka Suita, Osaka, Japan Tel: +668793455; fax: +668793458; e-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.