Verteporfin photodynamic therapy combined with intravitreal bevacizumab for neovascular age-related macular degeneration

Ophthalmology. 2009 Apr;116(4):747-55, 755.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2008.12.057. Epub 2009 Feb 25.


Purpose: To assess outcomes for patients with choroidal neovascularization (CNV) due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) treated with verteporfin photodynamic therapy (PDT) and bevacizumab.

Design: Retrospective, case series database study (registry).

Participants: We included 1196 patients with CNV due to AMD who received > or =1 combination treatment of 1.25 mg intravitreal bevacizumab within 14 days of verteporfin PDT.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of baseline data with ongoing follow-up. Physicians from 45 clinical centers entered patient data at baseline and follow-up examinations, including subsequent treatments, into a secure, Web-accessed database. Snellen visual acuity (VA) was converted to logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (logMAR) for statistical analyses.

Main outcome measures: Change from baseline in VA and retreatment rates of any therapy after the initial combination treatment.

Results: Of 1196 patients, 1073 patients had > or =6 months of follow-up. For these 1073 patients, mean baseline VA was 0.967 logMAR (approximate Snellen 20/185) and 56.3% of patients (604/1073) were treatment naïve. After their baseline combination treatment, patients received a mean of 0.6 additional verteporfin PDT retreatments and 2.0 bevacizumab retreatments over a mean follow-up period of 15.0 months. By 12 months, 82% of patients (578/701) had stable or improved vision (loss of <3 lines or a gain in VA), 36% (255/701) improved by > or =3 lines, and 17% (121/701) improved by > or =6 lines. By 12 months, patients gained approximately 1.2 lines (6 letters) of VA from baseline. Patients who were treatment naïve gained significantly more VA by month 12 (+8.4 letters) compared with those who had been previously treated (+2.4 letters; P<0.01). Most serious adverse events (26/30) were judged by investigators as not related to any study treatment, although 3 ocular events were judged related to bevacizumab alone, and 1 ocular event was judged related to both bevacizumab and PDT.

Conclusions: Combination therapy with PDT and bevacizumab led to vision benefit for most patients, particularly those who were treatment naïve at baseline. The number of retreatments was lower than published reports with either treatment delivered as monotherapy. Randomized clinical trials are underway to confirm these findings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Bevacizumab
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / drug therapy*
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / etiology
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / physiopathology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Injections
  • Macular Degeneration / complications
  • Macular Degeneration / drug therapy*
  • Macular Degeneration / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Photochemotherapy*
  • Photosensitizing Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Porphyrins / therapeutic use*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Verteporfin
  • Visual Acuity / physiology
  • Vitreous Body


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Photosensitizing Agents
  • Porphyrins
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Verteporfin
  • Bevacizumab