A preliminary study of photodynamic therapy using verteporfin for choroidal neovascularization in pathologic myopia, ocular histoplasmosis syndrome, angioid streaks, and idiopathic causes

Arch Ophthalmol. 2000 Mar;118(3):327-36. doi: 10.1001/archopht.118.3.327.


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.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angioid Streaks / complications*
  • Capillary Permeability
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / drug therapy*
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / etiology
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / complications*
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Histoplasmosis / complications*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myopia / complications*
  • Photochemotherapy*
  • Photosensitizing Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Porphyrins / therapeutic use*
  • Safety
  • Verteporfin
  • Visual Acuity


  • Photosensitizing Agents
  • Porphyrins
  • Verteporfin