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Neovascular age-related macular degeneration without drusen in the fellow eye: clinical spectrum and therapeutic outcome

Authors Chung WH, van Dijk EHC, Mohabati D, Dijkman G, Yzer S, de Jong EK, Fauser S, Schlingemann RO, Hoyng CB, Boon CJF

Received 17 September 2016

Accepted for publication 3 October 2016

Published 21 December 2016 Volume 2017:11 Pages 63—70


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Wing H Chung,1 Elon H C van Dijk,1 Danial Mohabati,1 Greet Dijkman,1 Suzanne Yzer,2 Eiko K de Jong,3 Sascha Fauser,4 Reinier O Schlingemann,5–7 Carel B Hoyng,3 Camiel J F Boon1,5

Department of Ophthalmology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, 2Rotterdam Eye Hospital, Rotterdam, 3Department of Ophthalmology, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands; 4Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital of Cologne, Cologne, Germany; 5Department of Ophthalmology, 6Ocular Angiogenesis Group, Departments of Ophthalmology and Cell Biology and Histology, Academic Medical Center, 7Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Purpose: To investigate the clinical characteristics and therapeutic outcome of patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) in 1 eye, without drusen in the fellow eye.
Patients and methods: Medical records of 381 patients were analyzed to identify the cases. The main outcomes included Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and change in central retinal thickness (CRT). These parameters were reviewed at baseline, first follow-up visit, and after 6, 12, and 24 months.
Results: Out of 381 patients, 29 cases (8%) were included (of whom 3 had polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy [PCV]) who were treated with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) therapy which was supplemented by photodynamic therapy (PDT) in the PCV patients. Overall, no statistically significant change in mean BCVA was observed during follow-up. BCVA improved or remained stable (defined as a gain in BCVA, a stable BCVA, or a loss of <5 ETDRS letters) in 22 patients (76%), and 7 patients (23%) had lost ≥5 ETDRS letters at final follow-up. A gain of ≥15 ETDRS letters at final follow-up was seen in 5 patients (17%). Mean CRT had decreased significantly with 99 µm (P<0.001) at 24 months after the initial visit.
Conclusion: There is a clinical spectrum of nAMD that is not associated with drusen in the fellow eye. Patients with nAMD without drusen in the fellow eye respond to anti-VEGF treatment and, in cases of PCV, to supplemental PDT. The pathophysiology of this spectrum of nAMD may be different from drusen-associated age-related macular degeneration.

Keywords: anti-vascular endothelial growth factor, unilateral age-related macular degeneration, non-neovascular age-related macular degeneration, polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy, precursor lesion, best-corrected visual acuity

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