Five-year visual outcomes after anti-VEGF therapy with or without photodynamic therapy for polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy

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[Background/aims] To evaluate the 5-year visual and anatomical outcomes after anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapy alone or in combination with photodynamic therapy (PDT), followed by pro re nata (PRN) anti-VEGF therapy with or without PDT, for polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV). [Methods] This retrospective, observational study included 61 consecutive patients with treatment-naïve symptomatic PCV who were followed for 5 years. Twenty eyes (20 patients) initially received PDT and intravitreal injection of ranibizumab (IVR), followed by a PRN regimen of anti-VEGF therapy with or without PDT (combination group), while 41 eyes (41 patients) initially received only IVR every 3 months, followed by a PRN regimen of anti-VEGF monotherapy (IVR group). Macular atrophy including the fovea was confirmed using colour fundus photography and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography. [Results] In both groups, the visual acuity (VA) at 1 year was better than the baseline VA, whereas the 3-year, 4-year and 5-year VA values were similar to the baseline VA. There was no significant difference in the 5-year VA, 5-year central retinal thickness and incidence of macular atrophy between the two groups (p=0.63, 0.72 and 0.06, respectively). In the combination group, the 5-year VA was correlated with the 5-year incidence of macular atrophy (p=0.02, r=0.51). [Conclusions] A PRN regimen for PCV may have a limited effect for the long-term maintenance of improved VA. Macular atrophy may occur more frequently with combination therapy and is possibly associated with the 5-year VA. Thus, combination therapy should be carefully selected for patients susceptible to macular atrophy.


  • British Journal of Ophthalmology

    British Journal of Ophthalmology 103(5), 617-622, 2019-05

    BMJ Publishing Group


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