Purpose: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of repeated photodynamic therapy (PDT) with mono-L-aspartyl chlorin e6 (NPe6) on normal primate fovea and choroid.
Methods: Macaca fuscata monkeys were used as experimental subjects. Mono-L-aspartyl chlorin e6 at a dose of 2 mg/kg was administered by intravenous infusion. Laser irradiation was applied within 5 minutes using a 664-nm diode laser at a power output of 5.9 mW (750 mW/cm2), spot size of 1,000 microm, and time of 10 seconds. This resulted in a fluence of 7.5 J/cm2. Three consecutive PDT treatments at 2-week intervals were applied over the center of the fovea and posterior fundus near the arcade vessels of each eye. The animals were killed and the eyes were enucleated for histologic study 2 weeks after the last treatment.
Results: Limited changes could be observed in the sensory retina under light microscopy. Photoreceptor cells and outer segments were not damaged, even after repeated PDT. Proliferation and duplication of the retinal pigment epithelial cells were common findings. A plaque of fibrous tissue was present, interwoven with retinal pigment epithelial cells in eyes that received repeated PDT. The retinal vessels remained patent even after three sessions of PDT. However, occlusion of the choriocapillaris and the large choroidal vessels was observed after repeated PDT treatment.
Conclusion: Repeated PDT of healthy nonhuman primate fundi using a hydrophilic photosensitizer (NPe6) shows preservation of the neurosensory retina components and architecture with damage confined to the retinal pigment epithelium and choriocapillaris.