Purpose: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of intravitreal triamcinolone after 18 months of follow up in patients with age-related macular degeneration and subfoveal or juxtafoveal choroidal neovascularization considered unsuitable for laser photocoagulation.
Methods: Thirty eyes of 28 patients, referred from general eye clinics as well as the private clinic of one of the authors to a hospital-based retinal out-patient clinic, were treated with an intravitreal injection of triamcinolone (4 mg). The primary outcome measure was the proportion of eyes with loss of six or more lines on a Bailey-Lovie Chart. The incidence of adverse events associated with treatment was also observed.
Results: Of the 20 eyes with initial visual acuity (VA) of 6/60 or better, the vision was maintained (+/-1 Bailey-Lovie lines) in 11 eyes (55%), while six eyes (30%) suffered severe visual loss (six or more lines). The VA improved by five to six lines in three of 10 eyes with initial vision of 3/60 or worse. Three of four eyes receiving a second injection suffered either progressive cataract or elevated intra-ocular pressure (IOP) requiring cataract surgery and/or filtering surgery. One of 26 eyes (3%) receiving a single injection showed progression of cataract and elevation of IOP within 6 weeks of treatment and required anti-glaucoma medication for 6 weeks. Progression of nuclear sclerosis 8-12 months after treatment was observed in six of 26 eyes (23%) receiving a single injection.
Conclusions: The results of the present study suggest that a single intravitreal injection of 4 mg triamcinolone is reasonably well tolerated by the human eye. The rate of development of severe visual loss was less than reported for historical controls. Because the results are preliminary and uncontrolled, the treatment should not be used routinely until its benefit to patients is established by a prospective, randomized controlled study.