Purpose: To examine the 12-month results of a group of patients treated with combined photodynamic therapy (PDT) with verteporfin and intravitreal triamcinolone acetonide for choroidal neovascularization (CNV) secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Design: Noncomparative case series.
Participants: Twenty-six eyes of 26 patients with CNV secondary to AMD. Thirteen with CNV, without restriction to type, were not treated with prior PDT (newly treated group). Thirteen patients with prior PDT therapy who experienced visual loss while being treated with PDT alone comprised the remainder (prior PDT group).
Methods: Patients with CNV were treated with PDT, immediately followed by an intravitreal injection of 4 mg of triamcinolone acetonide. Visual acuity was measured by Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study protocol refraction. Need for retreatment was based on fluorescein angiographic evidence of leakage at 3-month follow-up intervals.
Main outcome measures: Visual acuity and retreatment rate.
Results: In the newly treated group, the mean acuity change was an improvement of 2.5 lines (last observation carried forward [LOCF], +2.4 lines; P = 0.011, Wilcoxon signed ranks test, as compared with baseline acuity) for patients completing the 12-month follow-up. In the prior PDT group, the mean change was an improvement of +0.44 lines (LOCF, +0.31 lines; P = 0.53). Retreatment rates were 1.24 for the newly treated group and 1.2 for the prior PDT group over the first year. Ten patients (38.5%) developed an intraocular pressure (IOP) of >24 mmHg during follow-up, a threshold used to institute pressure reduction therapy. No patient developed endophthalmitis.
Conclusion: Although the number of patients in this pilot study was limited, the improvement of acuity and the reduced treatment frequency in these patients suggest that combination therapy with PDT and intravitreal triamcinolone acetonide, particularly when used as first-line therapy, merits further investigation. Elevated IOP seems to be the most frequent early side effect of the treatment.