Objective: To assess the prevalence of recurrence of macular geographic atrophy (GA) of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) after macular translocation with 360 degrees retinectomy (MT360) in one institution.
Methods: A retrospective review of all cases of GA that were treated with MT360 in 1 institution. Demographic and clinical data including the duration of preoperative visual loss, preoperative and postoperative visual acuity, and the prevalence of postoperative foveal RPE atrophy were recorded for these patients, and these data were compared with similar data from patients who underwent MT360 for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) as part of the prospective Duke Macular Translocation Study, Duke University Eye Center, Durham, NC.
Results: Four eyes in 4 patients with GA secondary to AMD underwent MT360 and were compared with 63 eyes in 63 patients who underwent MT360 for neovascular AMD as part of the Duke Macular Translocation Study. The mean duration of preoperative visual loss was higher in the GA group (11.3 months) than in the neovascular AMD group (1.7 months) (P = .08). The prevalence of postoperative foveal RPE atrophy was significantly higher in the GA group (n = 3; 75.0%) than in the neovascular AMD group (n = 5; 8.3%) (P<.01); in the GA group, this corresponded to recurrence of the GA lesions. In contrast, the postoperative RPE atrophy seen in the neovascular AMD group was due to postoperative mechanical forces such as laser therapy or RPE tearing. There was no significant difference in the mean preoperative or postoperative visual acuity in either group.
Conclusions: Subfoveal RPE atrophy can reoccur following MT360 in eyes with nonneovascular AMD and GA; RPE atrophy similar to this has not been found in a large consecutive series of patients with neovascular AMD after MT360. Further research is needed to assess if the potential for visual recovery in eyes with end-stage nonneovascular AMD is outweighed by the possibility of postoperative recurrence of GA.