Purpose: To describe the use of limited, low-irradiance, single-spot photodynamic therapy (PDT) with verteporfin for the treatment of symptomatic choroidal hemangiomas.
Methods: Thirteen consecutive patients with a circumscribed choroidal hemangioma were treated with limited PDT 6 min following a 1-min infusion with verteporfin (6 mg/m(2) body surface area), using a diode laser (692 nm) and a single spot large enough to cover only the most prominent part of the tumor. Exposure time was 166 s in the first three patients and 83 s in the last ten patients, resulting in a radiance exposure of respectively 100 and 50 J/cm(2).
Results: In all 11 not previously conventionally treated patients, visual acuity improved following PDT treatment. The two remaining patients with prior radiation treatment both reported widening of the visual field and sharper vision, but did not show an increase in ETDRS vision. In all but four patients the tumor became ultrasonographically undetectable by the first follow-up visit at 6 weeks, with only a slight irregularity at the level of the previous tumor remaining. In four patients the residual tumor was still detectable, and they received a second treatment, following which the tumor flattened completely. In all patients the retinal detachment disappeared.
Conclusion: The present series demonstrates that even limited, low-irradiance, single-spot photodynamic therapy with verteporfin is an effective first-line treatment for choroidal hemangiomas.