Photodynamic therapy with verteporfin for symptomatic polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy: one-year results of a prospective case series

Ophthalmology. 2004 Aug;111(8):1576-84. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2003.12.056.


Objective: To determine the efficacy of photodynamic therapy (PDT) with verteporfin as a treatment for symptomatic polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV).

Design: Prospective consecutive, 2-centered, noncomparative interventional case series.

Participants: Twenty-one Asian patients with 22 eyes presenting with serosanguinous maculopathy due to PCV and an initial best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) of 20/40 or worse were recruited prospectively. All patients had angiographic leakage seen on fluorescein angiograms (FAs) and features of PCV seen with indocyanine green (ICG) angiography.

Methods: Intravenous infusion of verteporfin at a dose of 6 mg/m(2) of body surface area over 10 minutes was administered. Five minutes after the completion of infusion, a 689-nm laser was applied for 83 seconds, with a light dose of 50 J/cm(2). The laser spot size was chosen to cover the polyps and the surrounding abnormally dilated choroidal vessels shown on ICG angiography plus an extra 1000-microm margin. Photodynamic therapy retreatment was performed if leakage from the polyps was found on both repeat FAs and ICG angiography at regular 3-month follow-up intervals.

Main outcome measures: The proportion of eyes with stable or improved vision at a 1-year follow-up. Secondary outcome measures included change in mean BCVA and the changes in clinical and angiographic features in FAs and ICG angiography. The total number of PDT sessions and any complications were also recorded.

Results: Stable or improved vision was achieved in 21 (95%) of the 22 eyes at the 1-year follow-up. Ten (45%) eyes had a moderate gain in vision (improved by > or =3 lines), whereas 1 (5%) eye suffered a moderate visual loss (decrease by > or =3 lines). The mean BCVA improved from a logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution(logMAR) of 0.73 to 0.60, an equivalent of 1.3 lines of improvement. The change in logMAR BCVA at 12 months was statistically significant (Wilcoxon signed-ranks test, P = 0.009). Complete absence of leakage in FAs and total regression of the polyps in ICG angiography were observed in 20 (91%) and 21 (95%) eyes, respectively. Severe loss of vision due to massive subretinal hemorrhage occurred in 1 eye; otherwise, there were no other serious treatment-related adverse events.

Conclusions: The 1-year results of PDT in treating PCV of the macular type with serosanguinous presentations are encouraging. Further studies with longer follow-up and randomized controlled trials are warranted to assess the long-term safety and efficacy of PDT relative to observation or other treatment modalities.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Choroid / blood supply*
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / complications
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Indocyanine Green
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Photochemotherapy*
  • Photosensitizing Agents / adverse effects
  • Photosensitizing Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Porphyrins / adverse effects
  • Porphyrins / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retinal Detachment / drug therapy
  • Retinal Detachment / etiology
  • Retinal Hemorrhage / drug therapy
  • Retinal Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Verteporfin
  • Visual Acuity


  • Photosensitizing Agents
  • Porphyrins
  • Verteporfin
  • Indocyanine Green