To evaluate the safety and efficacy of verteporfin photodynamic therapy (PDT) in patients with subfoveal choroidal neovascularization (CNV) secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
We retrospectively reviewed the chart records and fluorescein angiography of patients with subfoveal CNV who were treated with verteporfin PDT between September 2001 and March 2003 and who completed at least 1 year of follow-up. The primary efficacy outcomes were the proportions of patients whose Snellen visual acuities had more than 1 line increase, no change or more than 1 line decrease 1 year after study entry compared with their baseline examinations. The secondary efficacy outcome was the changes in the logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution visual acuities at 1-year follow-up. Complications were monitored and tabulated.
Forty-eight eyes of 48 patients with subfoveal CNV secondary to AMD were enrolled in this study. The mean follow-up was 12.56 ± 1.37 months. At their last visit, 10.4% of eyes had more than 1 line improvement in Snellen visual acuity, 72.9% of eyes had no change, and 16.7% experienced more than 1 line of visual acuity loss (7 eyes lost < 3 lines of Snellen visual acuity, 1 eye lost between 3 and 6 lines). None experienced more than 6 lines of visual loss. There was no statistically significant difference between baseline and final visual acuity for eyes with predominantly classic CNV, minimally classic CNV and occult without classic CNV (Wilcoxon Signed Rank test, p = 0.59). There was a positive correlation between baseline visual acuity and final visual outcome (Kruskal-Wallis test, p = 0.002). No severe systemic and ocular adverse events were encountered.
Of our patients with subfoveal CNV secondary to AMD, 83.3% could maintain or improve their visual acuity 1 year after verteporfin PDT. The risk of deterioration in visual acuity due to subfoveal CNV could be reduced by verteporfin PDT. Baseline visual acuity is significantly correlated with the final proportion of visual outcome.