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Submacular surgery for subfoveal choroidal neovascular membranes in patients with presumed ocular histoplasmosis.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the visual results, recurrence rates, and postoperative complications of surgical removal of subfoveal choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in patients with the presumed ocular histoplasmosis syndrome.

DESIGN: A consecutive surgical series of 63 eyes of 62 patients with subfoveal CNV and the presumed ocular histoplasmosis syndrome with longer than 6 months of follow-up.

SETTING: Tertiary care university medical center.

METHODS: Patients underwent surgical removal of subfoveal CNV using vitreoretinal surgical techniques. The anatomical and functional results of surgery were analyzed.

RESULTS: The median age of the patients was 42 years (range, 16-68 years), and the median follow-up time was 24 months (range, 6-48 months). Visual acuity improved by 2 or more Snellen lines in 22 (35%) of the 63 eyes, was unchanged in 28 (44%) of the eyes, and worsened in 13 (21%) of the eyes. Eleven (17%) of the 63 eyes improved to a visual acuity of 20/50 or better. Eyes with an initial visual acuity of 20/200 or worse had a better prognosis for improved vision (ie, 26 [41%] of the eyes) than those with an initial visual acuity of 20/100 or better (ie, 5 [8%] of the eyes). Recurrence of the subfoveal CNV occurred in 24 (38%) of the 63 eyes and was more common in those eyes that received preoperative laser photocoagulation (ie, 15 [47%] of the eyes). The median time to recurrence was 5 months after surgery. Post-operative complications included macular striae in 4 (6%) of the 63 eyes, rhegmatogenous retinal detachment in 2 (3%) of the eyes, retinal tear in 1 (1.6%) of the eyes, and progression of cataract in 19 (30%) of the eyes.

CONCLUSIONS: Surgical excision of subfoveal CNV may be an effective therapeutic modality in patients with the presumed ocular histoplasmosis syndrome that offers the possibility of improving central vision in many patients. Factors possibly associated with a favorable visual prognosis include younger patient age and the absence of previous laser photocoagulation.

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