Treatment of idiopathic subfoveal choroidal neovascular lesions using photodynamic therapy with verteporfin

Am J Ophthalmol. 2002 Jul;134(1):62-8. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(02)01452-6.


Purpose: To report the effects of photodynamic therapy using verteporfin in the treatment of patients with subfoveal idiopathic choroidal vascularization (CNV).

Design: Interventional case series.

Methods: In a retrospective study, eight eyes of eight consecutive patients aged 55 years or younger with subfoveal idiopathic CNV treated with photodynamic therapy using verteporfin were evaluated. Visual acuity was considered to be improved if the visual angle was halved, while acuity was thought to be worse if the visual angle doubled.

Results: The eight patients included three men and five women with a mean (+/- SD) age of 34.6 (+/- 9.7) years (range 25-53 years). The mean follow-up time was 13.5 months. At the end of the follow-up period the visual acuity improved in five eyes (62.5%), remained unchanged in one (12.5%), and decreased in two (25%). The mean acuity improvement was 3.6 lines of Snellen acuity by the end of the follow-up period, a change that was statistically significant (P =.027, Wilcoxon signed-rank test). No patient had any complication from the treatment.

Conclusions: There is no widely accepted method for treating subfoveal idiopathic CNV and all previously investigated methods have had a significant number of serious side effects. Although the follow-up time and the number of patients in this pilot study were limited, the encouraging results and lack of complications suggest that further study is indicated.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / diagnosis
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fovea Centralis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Photochemotherapy*
  • Photosensitizing Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Porphyrins / therapeutic use*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Verteporfin
  • Visual Acuity


  • Photosensitizing Agents
  • Porphyrins
  • Verteporfin