Background: Photocoagulation, cryotherapy and radiotherapy have been used to treat angiomatous lesions. Depending on the location of the angioma, these treatments can cause additional, significant functional damage. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) however, allows a selective occlusion of vascular lesions without damaging adjacent retinal structures.
Methods: Two patients with isolated choroidal hemangiomas involving the posterior pole were treated with PDT. Treatments were performed using a diode laser at 692 nm, a light dose of 100 J/cm2 and 6 mg/m2 body surface area verteporfin (BPD-MA). PDT was applied in two courses in one eye and in four in the other eye at 1-4 months intervals. Patients were followed up for 9-12 months with visual acuity measurements and dilated ophthalmoscopy. Ultrasound, indocyanine green angiographic and fluorescein angiographic images were evaluated at each visit.
Results: Tumor heights were 3.3 and 4.6 mm on pretreatment ultrasound. After therapy, patients with isolated choroidal hemangioma showed total regression of the lesion and improved visual acuity due to resorption of retinal edema. Serous retinal detachment and cystoid macular edema resolved. Ultrasound demonstrated a progressive decrease in tumor height after each PDT application, with complete disappearance of the lesion. Retinal vessels were not affected by the treatment, and retinal function recovered in areas with previous tumor involvement.
Conclusion: PDT allows selective treatment of large intraocular angiomatous lesions. Without optimized parameters, complete regression of choroidal hemangiomas, resolution of secondary complications and improvement of visual acuity were documented.