Objective: To evaluate short-term safety and the effects on visual acuity and fluorescein angiography of single or multiple sessions of photodynamic therapy with verteporfin for choroidal neovascularization (CNV) not related to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), including pathologic myopia, the ocular histoplasmosis syndrome, angioid streaks, and idiopathic causes.
Design: A nonrandomized, multicenter, open-label, dose-escalation phase 1 and 2 clinical trial.
Setting: Four ophthalmic centers in Europe and North America providing retinal care.
Participants: Thirteen patients with subfoveal CNV due to pathologic myopia, the ocular histoplasmosis syndrome, angioid streaks, or idiopathic causes.
Methods: Standardized protocol refraction, visual acuity testing, ophthalmic examinations, color photographs, and fluorescein angiograms were used to evaluate the results of photodynamic therapy treatments with verteporfin. Follow-up ranged from 12 weeks for patients who were treated once to 43 weeks for patients who were treated up to 4 times.
Results: Verteporfin therapy was well tolerated in patients with CNV not related to AMD. No deterioration in visual acuity was observed; most patients gained at least 1 line of vision. Reduction in the size of leakage area from classic CNV was noted in all patients as early as 1 week after verteporfin therapy, with complete absence of leakage from classic CNV in almost half of the patients. Improvement in visual acuity after verteporfin therapy was greatest (+6, +8, and +9 lines) in 3 patients with relatively poor initial visual acuity (between 20/200 and 20/800). Up to 4 treatments were found to have short-term safety even with retreatment intervals as short as 4 weeks.
Conclusions: Treatment of CNV not related to AMD with verteporfin therapy achieves short-term cessation of fluorescein leakage from CNV in a small number of patients without loss of vision. Further randomized clinical trials including a larger number of patients are under way to confirm whether verteporfin therapy is beneficial for subfoveal CNV not related to AMD.