To identify fluorescein angiography and optical coherence tomography (OCT) predictors for retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) tear in eyes with pigment epithelium detachment (PED) associated with neovascular age-related macular degeneration treated with intravitreal vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) modulating therapy.
Retrospective comparative case series.
In a single institutional center, 60 consecutive patients with PED and neovascular age-related macular degeneration treated with VEGF modulating therapy (either pegaptanib, bevacizumab, or ranibizumab) for more than a 27-month period were included in the study. Fluorescein angiography (FA) and OCT imaging was performed before and after anti-VEGF therapy. Formal statistical analysis comparing the tear group to the nontear group was performed to identify high-risk features for RPE tear.
RPE tear rate for eyes with vascularized PED receiving anti-VEGF therapy was 17% (10/60). There were highly statistically significant differences in the median PED size on fluorescein angiography (greatest linear diameter) (3.2 mm versus 1.8 mm, respectively; P < 0.001) and in the median maximum PED height on OCT (394 μm versus 149 μm, respectively; P = 0.001) between the tear group and nontear group. There was also a significant difference in terms of the presence of subretinal fluid on OCT between the two groups (87.5% versus 39%, respectively; P = 0.019).
Large PED basal diameter and vertical height are correlated with an increased risk of developing an RPE tear after anti-VEGF therapy. Patients with large vascularized PED by fluorescein angiography and/or OCT analysis should be alerted of the risk for vision loss due to RPE tear after anti-VEGF therapy.