Background and objective: To evaluate clinical feasibility, safety, and efficacy of epiretinal strontium-90 brachytherapy in subfoveal choroidal neovascularization (CNV) due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in eyes unresponsive to repeated anti-VEGF injections.
Patients and methods: A retrospective, single-center study on patients treated with strontium-90 brachytherapy for CNV secondary to neovascular AMD. Patients underwent pars plana vitrectomy with a single 24 Gy dose brachytherapy. They were re-treated with anti-VEGF injections on an as-needed basis if subretinal or intraretinal fluid was detected on optical coherence tomography imaging.
Results: Twenty-two patients were treated, and 20 completed 12 months of follow-up. Ten patients maintained stable vision, eight gained vision, and two lost more than three Snellen lines. The mean best corrected visual acuity change from baseline was -8 ± 5.7 letters. A mean of 5.5 ± 4.4 anti-VEGF injections were administered throughout 12 months.
Conclusion: Epimacular brachytherapy is feasible in clinical practice. While some patients benefit from the treatment and need significantly fewer as-needed injections, others appear not to react to irradiation treatment after 1 year of follow-up. Larger numbers of patients are needed to evaluate therapeutic efficacy and to determine which patients can benefit from combined radiation and anti-VEGF therapy.
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