Role of photodynamic therapy in polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy

Jpn J Ophthalmol. Jul-Aug 2007;51(4):270-7. doi: 10.1007/s10384-007-0452-3. Epub 2007 Aug 3.


Purpose: To determine the efficacy of photodynamic therapy (PDT) with verteporfin for polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV).

Methods: PDT was performed in 35 patients (35 eyes) with PCV. We evaluated the number of treatments and compared visual acuity (VA), ophthalmological findings, and changes in polypoidal lesions and branching vascular networks by measuring lesion diameters using Heidelberg retina angiography before PDT, and then every 3 months for 1 year after PDT.

Results: The mean annual number of treatment sessions was 2.2. VA was improved or maintained in 80% of the patients. Retinal pigment epithelium detachment, retinal detachment, hemorrhage, and/or exudates disappeared in 69%, and leakage resolved in 74% of the patients. Polypoidal lesions disappeared completely on indocyanine green angiography in 83% of the patients. All branching vascular networks persisted. Polypoidal lesions had recurred at the termini of the remaining branching vascular networks at 9 months after the first PDT in two eyes and at 12 months in one eye.

Conclusions: PDT with verteporfin for PCV appears to improve or maintain VA for the first posttreatment year. Approximately 70% of PCV cases showed improved ophthalmoscopic findings. However, as polypoidal lesions recur after PDT in some cases, further study is needed to confirm the long-term efficacy of PDT for PCV.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Choroid / blood supply*
  • Choroid Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Choroid Diseases / pathology
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases / pathology
  • Photochemotherapy / methods*
  • Photosensitizing Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Porphyrins / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Verteporfin
  • Visual Acuity


  • Photosensitizing Agents
  • Porphyrins
  • Verteporfin