Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Feeder vessel photocoagulation of subfoveal choroidal neovascularization secondary to age-related macular degeneration.

Ophthalmology 1998 April
PURPOSE: This study aimed to assess the feasibility of laser photocoagulation of feeder vessels of subfoveal choroidal neovascularization (CNV) secondary to age-related macular degeneration.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Of 170 consecutive patients with subfoveal CNV secondary to age-related macular degeneration, feeder vessels were detected in 37 patients by means of indocyanine green videoangiography using a scanning laser ophthalmoscope. Dye laser photocoagulation was applied to extrafoveal feeder vessels, with the fovea spared.

RESULTS: Twenty-six (70%) of those 37 patients had complete resolution of exudative manifestations. Persistent or worsened manifestations were seen in 11 patients (30%) because of recurrent CNV or persistent CNV. The visual acuity improved or stabilized in 25 patients (68%). Ten patients (27%) had a final visual acuity of 20/40 or better and six patients (16%) had a final visual acuity of 20/50 to 20/100. Significant factors prognostic of the visual outcome of 20/100 or better were small CNV (2 disc areas or smaller, Fisher's exact probability test, P = 0.041), the absence of white, fibrous tissue in neovascular membranes (Fisher's exact probability test, P = 0.003), and the closest distance of laser burns to the center of the foveal avascular zone (Fisher's exact probability test, P = 0.049). Preoperative visual acuity had a significant positive correlation with final visual acuity (Spearman's rank correlation test, P = 0.0076).

CONCLUSION: Feeder vessel photocoagulation should be considered as a treatment option for subfoveal CNV secondary to age-related macular degeneration, because no other treatment method has a better visual outcome.

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