Objective: This study aimed to determine whether the indocyanine green angiography (ICGA)-guided laser treatment of feeder vessels (FVs) may be useful in the management of the subfoveal choroidal neovascular membranes (CNVM) in patients with age-related macular degeneration (ARMD).
Design: Noncomparative case series.
Participants: The authors considered a series of 15 patients with subfoveal CNVM in whom feeder vessels could be clearly detected by means of dynamic ICGA but not necessarily with fluorescein angiography (FA). On the basis of the indications of the pilot study, the authors also studied a second series of 16 patients with FVs smaller than 85 microm.
Intervention: Treatment of FV using argon green laser was performed. The ICGA was performed immediately after treatment, after 2, 7, 30 days, and then every 3 months, to assess FV closure. If an FV appeared to be still patent, it was immediately retreated and the follow-up was started again. The follow-up time ranged from 23 to 34 months for the pilot study and from 4 to 12 months for the second series.
Main outcome measures: The obliteration of the membrane and change in visual acuity from baseline were measured. The effect on the treatment of the number and width of the FVs, and the size and location of the membrane, also was evaluated.
Results: In the pilot study, the CNVM was obliterated after the first treatment in only one patient, five patients needed more than one treatment, and obliteration failed in nine patients (40% success rate). The rate of success was affected by the width and number of the FVs. The success rate in the second series of 16 patients was higher (75%).
Conclusions: The success of the laser treatment of FVs depends on their width, length, and number. Dynamic ICGA, which detects smaller FVs and makes it possible to control the laser effect and initiate immediate retreatment in the case of incomplete FV closure, should be considered mandatory for this type of treatment; a comparable success rate would have been unlikely using the other currently available methods of treating subfoveal CNVMs.