Loss of photoreceptors in atrophic age-related macular degeneration (AMD) results in severe visual impairment. Since the low-resolution peripheral vision is retained in such conditions, restoration of central vision should not jeopardize the surrounding healthy retina and allow for simultaneous use of the natural and prosthetic sight. This interim report, prespecified in the study protocol, presents the first clinical results with a photovoltaic substitute of the photoreceptors providing simultaneous use of the central prosthetic and peripheral natural vision in atrophic AMD. In this open-label single group feasibility trial (NCT03333954, recruitment completed), five patients with geographic atrophy have been implanted with a wireless 2 x 2 mm-wide 30 µm-thick device, having 378 pixels of 100 µm in size. All 5 patients achieved the primary outcome of the study by demonstrating the prosthetic visual perception in the former scotoma. The four patients with a subretinal placement of the chip demonstrated the secondary outcome: Landolt acuity of 1.17 ± 0.13 pixels, corresponding to the Snellen range of 20/460-20/565. With electronic magnification of up to a factor of 8, patients demonstrated prosthetic acuity in the range of 20/63-20/98. Under room lighting conditions, patients could simultaneously use prosthetic central vision and their remaining peripheral vision in the implanted eye and in the fellow eye.
© 2022. The Author(s).