Background and objective: To determine the threshold fluence for producing choroidal and retinal vascular occlusion with mono-L-aspartyl chlorin e6 (NPe6) photodynamic therapy (PDT) during primary treatment and the effect of retreatment.
Methods: Primary treatment: Rats, rabbits, and monkeys underwent NPe6 PDT to determine the threshold fluences for choroidal and retinal vessel occlusion. The threshold was determined by analyzing fluorescein angiograms for areas of nonperfusion. Retreatment: Dutch-belted rabbits underwent NPe6 PDT followed by fluorescein angiography. Rabbits were retreated one week later at the same parameters.
Results: Fluence levels and vascular damage thresholds were always higher for retinal than for choroidal vascular occlusion. Retreatment caused choroidal vessel closure at all tested fluences but retinal capillaries closed only at a fluence > 17.7 J/cm2.
Conclusion: NPe6 PDT has a lower threshold to occlude choroidal vessels than retinal vessels. The cumulative effect of retreatment does not damage retinal vessels unless the threshold is exceeded during a single retreatment session.