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Keywords:

  • subfoveal choroidal neovascularization;
  • transpupillary thermotherapy;
  • age-related macular degeneration

Abstract.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of transpupillary thermotherapy (TTT) for the treatment of choroidal neovascularization (CNV) secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Design: Prospective, non-randomized, non-masked, case-selected series.

Methods: All patients with subfoveal CNV due to AMD and initial visual acuity (VA) between 6/9 and 6/60 were offered the opportunity to undergo TTT. Recruited subjects were treated using a diode laser (810 nm) with a beam size of 1.2–3.0 mm and power settings of 460–1200 mW. Treatment was applied for 60 seconds in a subthreshold manner.

Main outcome measures: Differences in VA and changes in the angiographic appearance of CNV.

Results: Thirty-one occult/predominantly occult and five classic/predominantly classic membranes were treated with TTT and were followed-up for a mean of 6.0 ± 1.2 months. Following an average of 1.5 ± 0.7 (range 1–4) laser sessions, VA remained stable ( − 1 to + 1 Snellen line) in 24 (66.7%) eyes, improved by > 1 line in two (5.6%) eyes and decreased significantly (≥ 2 Snellen lines) in 10 (27.8%) eyes. Angiographically confirmed closure of CNV was detected in 22 (61.1%) patients. Membranes persisted in 11 (30.6%) eyes and recurred in three (8.3%) eyes. There was no association between reduction, elimination or persistence of angiographic leakage of CNV and change in VA after treatment (p = 0.347).

Conclusions: Transpupillary thermotherapy may be effective at preserving vision and reducing CNV leakage in a number of patients with exudative AMD. Further studies are required to compare TTT with the natural course of subfoveal CNV and alternative treatment options.