One-year outcomes of photodynamic therapy in age-related macular degeneration and polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy in Japanese patients

Ophthalmology. 2008 Jan;115(1):141-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2007.02.031. Epub 2007 Jun 20.


Purpose: To determine the prevalence of polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV) in Japanese patients presumed to have age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and compare 1-year outcomes after photodynamic therapy between PCV and choroidal neovascularization secondary to AMD.

Design: Prospective interventional study.

Participants: Ninety-three consecutive patients (93 eyes) met the inclusion criteria: at least 50 years old, best-corrected visual acuity (VA) of 34 to 73 on the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) letter chart, a subfoveal lesion 5400 mum or smaller in greatest linear dimension (GLD) on fluorescein angiography (FA), and eligibility for photodynamic therapy.

Methods: Indocyanine green angiography was performed in all participants, and PCV and AMD were differentiated, treated with photodynamic therapy, and the patients observed for 1 year. The GLD was determined by FA for AMD and by indocyanine green angiography for PCV, and the diameter of the laser spot size was chosen, with an extra 1000 microm added to the GLD. Photodynamic therapy was repeated if leakage occurred on FA at 3-month follow-up visits.

Main outcome measures: Prevalence of PCV at baseline and visual and angiographic changes 1 year after photodynamic therapy in PCV and AMD.

Results: Using indocyanine green angiography, 36 eyes (39%) were diagnosed with PCV and 54 eyes (58%) with choroidal neovascularization secondary to AMD. The median change in VA using the ETDRS letter score from baseline to 1 year was -7.0 in AMD eyes and +8.0 in PCV eyes (Mann-Whitney rank sum test; P<0.001). The VA improved (> or =15 letters) in AMD and PCV by 6% and 25%, respectively, and decreased (> or =15 letters) by 31% and 8%, respectively. Fluorescein leakage stopped at 1 year in 86% of PCV and 61% of AMD eyes (P = 0.031). Polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy recurred in 2 PCV eyes (5.6%), and a new PCV lesion developed in 1 PCV eye (2.8%) and 2 AMD eyes (3.7%) on indocyanine green angiography at 1 year.

Conclusion: The prevalence of PCV meeting the treatment criteria for photodynamic therapy for presumed AMD is high in Japanese patients. Photodynamic therapy is more efficacious for PCV than for AMD, which may explain the good results in Japanese patients. Further study should assess the long-term clinical results.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Choroid / blood supply*
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / diagnosis
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / drug therapy*
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / ethnology
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Indocyanine Green
  • Japan / ethnology
  • Macular Degeneration / diagnosis
  • Macular Degeneration / drug therapy*
  • Macular Degeneration / ethnology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases / ethnology
  • Photochemotherapy*
  • Photosensitizing Agents / therapeutic use
  • Porphyrins / therapeutic use
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Verteporfin
  • Visual Acuity


  • Photosensitizing Agents
  • Porphyrins
  • Verteporfin
  • Indocyanine Green