Subfoveal choroidal thickness after ranibizumab therapy for neovascular age-related macular degeneration: 12-month results

Taizo Yamazaki, Hideki Koizumi, Tetsuya Yamagishi, Shigeru Kinoshita
Ophthalmology 2012, 119 (8): 1621-7

PURPOSE: To investigate the changes in subfoveal choroidal thickness after intravitreal injections of ranibizumab (IVRs) for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

DESIGN: Prospective, consecutive, interventional case series.

PARTICIPANTS: Eighty eyes (40 affected eyes with neovascular AMD and 40 unaffected fellow eyes) of 40 patients.

METHODS: Forty eyes with neovascular AMD were treated with 0.5-mg IVRs monthly for 3 months and received additional IVRs as needed over the following 9-month period. Subfoveal choroidal thickness in all 80 eyes was measured by use of enhanced depth imaging optical coherence tomography images before and after starting the IVRs.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Changes in subfoveal choroidal thickness after treatment by IVRs over a 12-month period.

RESULTS: Twenty-three eyes (57.5%) were diagnosed with typical neovascular AMD, 16 eyes (40%) were diagnosed with polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy, and 1 eye (2.5%) was diagnosed with retinal angiomatous proliferation. Fifteen eyes (38%) had received some previous treatments for the neovascular lesion before undergoing the IVRs. The mean best-corrected visual acuity of the affected eyes was improved from 0.54 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution units at baseline to 0.42 at 12 months (P = 0.020). The mean subfoveal choroidal thickness in the affected eyes decreased from 244±62 μm at baseline to 234±66 μm at 1 month (P = 0.013), 226±68 μm at 3 months (P<0.001), 229±67 μm at 6 months (P = 0.002), and 226±66 μm at 12 months (P = 0.002; the change ratio, 93%), whereas that in the unaffected eyes changed from 237±80 μm at baseline to 238±83 μm at 12 months (P = 0.78). In the affected eyes, the change ratio of subfoveal choroidal thickness at 12 months was not correlated with the number of IVRs (mean, 5.8±2.9). Subfoveal choroidal thickness demonstrated a similar trend toward decreasing during the following period independent of the subtypes of neovascular AMD or the treatment histories.

CONCLUSIONS: Subfoveal choroidal thickness decreased after IVRs in eyes with neovascular AMD. Intravitreal injections of ranibizumab may provide a pharmacologic effect not only on the neovascular lesion but also on the underlying choroid.

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