PURPOSE: To evaluate the 12-month visual outcome of photodynamic therapy with verteporfin (PDT-V) for patients with subfoveal choroidal neovascularization (CNV) secondary to age-related macular degeneration and to verify the predictive role of visual and angiographic factors. METHODS: This retrospective, interventional, consecutive case series study included subjects with different forms of subfoveal CNV. All patients received PDT-V according to Treatment of Age-Related Macular Degeneration With Photodynamic Therapy/Visudyne in Photodynamic Therapy guidelines. A review of medical and angiographic records was performed. RESULTS: Two hundred sixteen patients were divided into 4 study groups: group I, 60 eyes with classic CNV; group II, 56 eyes with predominantly classic CNV; group III, 42 eyes with minimally classic CNV; and group IV, 58 eyes with occult CNV. In groups I and II, best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was moderately decreased, without reaching a statistically noticeable level during the entire follow-up; lesion size reduction only reached significance in group I. Groups III and IV showed evident worsening of BCVA (P < 0.05), despite concomitant reduction in CNV size (statistically remarkable only for occult CNV). All study groups exhibited a significant correlation between higher baseline BCVA and better final visual outcome. In groups II and IV, smaller baseline CNV sizes also favorably influenced final BCVA. CONCLUSIONS: Standardized PDT-V minimizes deterioration of central vision only in patients with classic and predominantly classic CNV. Irrespective of the CNV type, better BCVA at presentation represents a good predictive sign. In predominantly classic and occult lesions, minor initial CNV dimension is also a positive prognostic element.
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