Purpose: To compare 12-month treatment outcomes of Type 3 neovascularization among its different stages as classified using an optical coherence tomography-based method.
Methods: This retrospective observational study included 40 patients (40 eyes) who were newly diagnosed with Type 3 neovascularization. The patients were initially administered 3 monthly anti-vascular endothelial growth factor injections. Repeat treatment was performed when recurrence of fluid was noted. Disease staging was classified using the optical coherence tomography-based method. The best-corrected visual acuity at diagnosis and at 12 months and degree of change in best-corrected visual acuity were compared among the different stages of the disease. In addition, incidence of progression in the disease stages was estimated.
Results: Among the 40 patients, 14 (35.0%) were classified as Stage 2 and 26 (65.0%) were classified as Stage 3. The best-corrected visual acuity values at diagnosis and at 12 months were 0.61 ± 0.31 (20/81 Snellen equivalents) and 0.46 ± 0.30 (20/57) in the Stage 2 group and 0.67 ± 0.42 (20/93) and 0.70 ± 0.49 (20/100) in the Stage 3 group, respectively. There was a significant difference in best-corrected visual acuity change between the two groups (P = 0.036). During the follow-up period, 3 retinal pigment epithelium tears and 2 submacular hemorrhages had developed in the Stage 3 group. Progression of the disease from Stage 2 to Stage 3 was noted in 2 patients (14.3%).
Conclusion: The visual outcome was worse in Stage 3 than in Stage 2, and adverse events that may lead to abrupt visual deterioration developed only in Stage 3. Further studies are needed to reveal whether anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy can suppress the progression of the disease stages.