Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of transpupillary thermotherapy for the treatment of occult subfoveal choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in patients with age-related macular degeneration.
Design: A retrospective, noncomparative case series.
Participants: Sixteen eyes of 15 consecutive patients who presented with occult subfoveal choroidal neovascularization secondary to age-related macular degeneration.
Intervention: After informed consent was obtained, 16 eyes of 15 patients were treated with transpupillary thermotherapy. All patients underwent pretreatment fluorescein angiography and were deemed untreatable by the Macular Photocoagulation Study standard. Transpupillary thermotherapy was delivered using a diode laser at 810 nm. A variable spot size of 1.2 mm, 2.0 mm, or 3.0 mm was used depending on the size of CNV. The diode laser was delivered through a contact lens, and treatment was initiated in one spot for 60 seconds' duration at a power range between 360 and 1000 mW. The end point was an area of no visible color change to a light-gray appearance.
Main outcome measures: In all eyes, outcome was assessed by Snellen chart visual acuity and clinical examination. In 10 of 16 eyes, preoperative and postoperative fluorescein angiography and optical coherence tomography were available. In the remaining 6 of 16 eyes, exudation was measured by postoperative clinical examination alone.
Results: Three eyes (19%) showed a two-or-more-line improvement in visual acuity over a period of 6 to 25 months. Mean follow-up was 13 months. Visual acuity remained stable (no change or one-line improvement) in nine treated eyes (56%). The remaining four eyes (25%) showed a decline (equal to one-line worsening or greater) in visual acuity. Fifteen eyes (94%) demonstrated decreased exudation on fluorescein angiography, optical coherence tomography, and/or clinical examination.
Conclusions: Transpupillary thermotherapy shows no deleterious side effects in treating occult subfoveal choroidal neovascularization. A randomized, prospective study is necessary to evaluate treatment efficacy.