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Am J Ophthalmol. 1999 May;127(5):574-8.

Randomized trial of radiation for age-related macular degeneration.

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Tumori Foundation, California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, USA.



To assess external beam radiation efficacy for subfoveal neovascularization associated with age-related macular degeneration.


All patients were evaluated in the same institution. In this prospective trial, 27 eyes (27 patients) with subfoveal neovascularization associated with age-related macular degeneration were randomized to either single fraction radiation (750 centigray) or observation. Endpoints were assessed by fluorescein angiography and Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) visual acuity. Examiners were masked to patient treatment status. Parametric and nonparametric statistical analyses were performed.


Twenty-seven patients were entered into the trial with a mean age of 76 years (range, 64 to 89) and a mean follow-up of 17 months (range, 7 to 32). The visual acuity loss was slightly less in the irradiated group, a finding of borderline significance (P < .046). There was no significant difference in fluorescein angiographic evidence of subretinal neovascular membrane change in the control group vs the irradiated group.


External beam radiation, at this dose and fractionation, did not appear harmful. There was slightly less visual loss in irradiated eyes. No difference in fluorescein angiographic characteristics of subfoveal neovascularization size or progression in eyes with age-related macular degeneration was noted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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