Intravitreal Ranibizumab versus Thermal Laser Photocoagulation in the Treatment of Extrafoveal Classic Choroidal Neovascularization Secondary to Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Ioannis D Ladas, Irini P Chatziralli, Athanasios I Kotsolis, Maria Douvali, Ilias Georgalas, Panagiotis G Theodossiadis, Alexandros A Rouvas
Ophthalmologica. Journal International D'ophtalmologie 2012, 228 (2): 93-101
Background: To compare the efficacy of thermal laser photocoagulation versus intravitreal ranibizumab for the treatment of extrafoveal classic choroidal neovascularization (CNV) secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Methods: We conducted a retrospective study on 24 eyes with extrafoveal classic CNV secondary to AMD, treated either with thermal laser photocoagulation (group 1) or with intravitreal ranibizumab (group 2). Visual acuity, number of injections/sessions and recurrence rate were assessed. Results: The mean follow-up time was 23.6 ± 2.26 and 19.1 ± 9.74 months for group 1 and 2, respectively. Mean best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) of groups 1 and 2 was 0.59 ± 0.32 and 0.46 ± 0.30 logMAR, respectively (p = 0.343). At the end of the follow-up, mean BCVA of group 1 was 0.92 ± 0.35 and of group 2 0.16 ± 0.12 logMAR and differed statistically compared to baseline (p = 0.02 and p = 0.006, respectively). There was a statistically significant difference between the two groups as far as BCVA at the end of the follow-up was concerned (p < 0.0001). The patients in group 1 received on average 1.38 sessions of thermal laser photocoagulation, while patients in group 2 received on average 4 injections of ranibizumab. The recurrence rate in the laser group was 84.6%, while in the ranibizumab group it was 18.2% (p < 0.001). Specifically, the mean time of recurrence in the laser group was 11.5 months, whereas in the ranibizumab group it was 18 months (p = 0.048). Conclusion: Intravitreal ranibizumab showed promising results in BCVA improvement and decrease in macular thickness in patients with extrafoveal classic CNV due to AMD, with a small number of injections. Laser photocoagulation treatment presented worsening in BCVA and high recurrence rate in our study with long-term follow-up.

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