To determine the postapproval effectiveness of photodynamic therapy(PDT) with verteporfin for the treatment of predominantly classic subfovealchoroidal neovascularization (CNV) secondary to age-related macular degeneration.
Forty-five consecutive patients treated with PDT for subfoveal CNV werecompared with an untreated historical control group. Control patients hadsubfoveal CNV and were first seen by us within 1 year before Health Canada'sapproval of verteporfin. Both groups were followed up for the developmentof significant visual loss, stability, or improvement. Multivariate modelswere constructed to evaluate the effectiveness of PDT, controlling for multiplecovariates (age, sex, baseline visual acuity, follow-up time, lesion size,and number of treatments).
Significant differences were noted in the change in visual acuity betweenthose who did and did not receive PDT (χ2 = 5.9, P = .048). Patients who received PDT were 2.9 times (95% confidenceinterval, 0.9-9.1) less likely to develop a moderate (>2 lines) visual loss(χ2 = 3.2, P = .07). Controlling forcovariates, patients who received PDT were 13.7 times (95% confidence interval,1.4-132.6) more likely to develop a visual improvement of at least 1 line.
Compared with historical controls, PDT was demonstrated to be effectivefor the treatment of predominantly classic subfoveal CNV.