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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2000;(2):CD002030.

Photodynamic therapy for neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

Author information

1
'Glaxo' Department of Ophthalmic Epidemiology, Institute of Ophthalmology (UCL) and Moorfields Eye Hospital, City Road, London, UK, EC1V 2PD. r.wormald@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In neovascular age-related macular degeneration, new vessels grow under the retina, distorting vision and leading to scarring. This is further exacerbated if the blood vessels leak. Photodynamic therapy, originally used in cancer treatment, has been investigated as a way to treat the neovascular membranes without affecting the retina.

OBJECTIVES:

The aim of this review is to examine the evidence for the safety and effectiveness of photodynamic therapy in the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

SEARCH STRATEGY:

We searched for trials in the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group trials register (available in the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register), the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, Medline and Embase. We used the Science Citation Index to search for reports that cited identified relevant study reports. We contacted experts in the field for further trials information, and we searched the reference lists of identified relevant studies for further trial reports. Searches were conducted in December 1999.

SELECTION CRITERIA:

We included randomised trials of photodynamic therapy in people with choroidal neovascularisation due to age-related macular degeneration.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:

Two reviewers extracted the data independently. Meta analysis was not performed.

MAIN RESULTS:

One published trial was identified. Outcome data were available at 12 months after the first treatment. Patients received an average of 3.7 treatments. The relative risk of losing three or more lines of visual acuity at 12 months comparing the intervention with the control group was 0.72 (95% confidence interval 0.61 to 0.86). The relative risk of losing six or more lines of visual acuity at 12 months comparing the intervention with the control group was 0.62 (95% confidence interval 0.44 to 0.87). Subgroup analyses suggest that the benefits may be confined to people with no occult choroidal neovascularisation.

REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS:

Photodynamic therapy in people with classic choroidal neovascularisation due to age-related macular degeneration is effective in preventing visual loss. This evidence is drawn from a subgroup analysis of 143 participants in one trial. Outcomes and potential adverse effects of this treatment should be monitored closely. There is no evidence that photodynamic therapy is beneficial for people with evidence of occult choroidal neovascularisation. These people should be offered treatment in the context of a randomised trial.

PMID:
10796845
DOI:
10.1002/14651858.CD002030
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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