Purpose: To examine the effects of intravitreal injection of 4.0 mg triamcinolone acetonide on the visual and clinical course of exudative age-related macular degeneration.
Methods: A randomized clinical trial of a single injection of triamcinolone acetonide into the vitreous cavity of experimental eyes at baseline versus observation of untreated subjects was performed in 27 patients followed up for 6 months. Inclusion criteria included exudative age-related macular degeneration with subfoveal or occult choroidal neovascularization, and visual acuity between 20/40 and 20/400. Examination, acuity assessment, fundus photography, and fluorescein angiography were performed at baseline and at 3 and 6 months after enrollment. LogMAR visual acuity was compared between groups by a repeated measures analysis of variance model. Masked assessment of photographic studies was performed and groups were compared with Fisher's exact test.
Results: Visual acuity was significantly better in the treated group compared with control subjects at 3 and 6 months (P < 0.005). Fundus photography and angiography were more likely to show stability or improvement at 3 and 6 months in the treated group (P = 0.05). Intraocular pressure elevation was seen in 25% of treated patients, but was controlled with topical medications. Progression of cataract was more frequently seen in the treated group.
Conclusions: Intravitreal triamcinolone acetonide may provide short-term improvement in visual acuity and fundus findings in exudative macular degeneration. These findings must be considered preliminary and should be followed by multicenter, masked, placebo-controlled trials with long-term follow-up.