The incidence and outcome of photodynamic therapy for macular degeneration in the Northern region of the UK

Eye (Lond). 2004 Jun;18(6):588-94. doi: 10.1038/sj.eye.6700709.


Purpose: To assess the patients who have had photodynamic therapy (PDT) in the Northern region of the UK, in relation to the eligibility criteria found to benefit in the TAP study (treatment of age-related macular degeneration with photodynamic therapy study), so as to make an estimate of the number of patients who might benefit from this treatment and to present the outcome of the treatment so far.

Method: The records and fluorescein angiograms (FFAs) of all patients who had had PDT in the Northern region between 2001 and 2002 were reviewed for compliance with the TAP criteria of >50% classic choroidal neovascularization and >34 letters on the 2 m logMAR Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study chart. NHS funding has been available in the Northern Region since January 2001 for 'second eye' involvement. A review of all the angiograms performed for exudative macular degeneration in 1 year was also performed. The visual outcome of those patients 1 year from baseline was measured.

Results: A total of 82 'second eye' patients were treated between January 2001 and December 2002. This gives an incidence of 65 per 3 million and so about 1300 in the whole of the UK (population 60 million). In all, 238 FFAs were performed on exudative macular degeneration, with 21% being found eligible for PDT. As of February 2003, 54 TAP criteria, macular degeneration patients were 1 year from initial treatment. Of these, 12 had incomplete follow-up and 13 patients had lost more than 15 letters. The responder rate defined as losing <15 letters was 42-13/42=69%. Seven of those who did not make 1-year follow-up had lost more than 15 letters when last seen, giving a responder rate of 54-20/54=63%.

Conclusion: There may not be as many patients eligible for PDT, using the TAP criteria, as previously hoped. The outcome of treatment appears similar to that found in the TAP study.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • England / epidemiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Macular Degeneration / drug therapy*
  • Macular Degeneration / epidemiology
  • Macular Degeneration / physiopathology
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data
  • Photochemotherapy* / adverse effects
  • Photochemotherapy* / statistics & numerical data
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Acuity