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Digit J Ophthalmol. 2011;17(3):23-30. doi: 10.5693/djo.01.2011.05.003. Epub 2011 Sep 30.

Combined intravitreal ranibizumab and verteporfin photodynamic therapy versus ranibizumab alone for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Policlinico Umberto I, Rome.



To compare same-day combined therapy of photodynamic therapy with verteporfin (PDT-V) and intravitreal ranibizumab versus monotherapy with ranibizumab for the treatment of choroidal neovascularization.


IN THIS PROSPECTIVE STUDY, THE TOTAL NUMBER OF EYES WAS RANDOMIZED INTO TWO GROUPS: in the first, treatment consisted of a combined therapy of PDT-V and ranibizumab 0.5 mg on the same day; in the second, ranibizumab 0.5 mg in 3 monthly injections. Best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and central macular thickness (CMT) on optical coherence tomography (OCT) were recorded before and 6 months after treatment.


A total of 47 eyes of 47 subjects were enrolled in the study. In the combined-therapy group (group 1), the mean baseline BCVA ± standard deviation (SD) was 32.65 ± 11.09 letters (Snellen equivalent, 20/59); in the ranibizumab-alone group (group 2), 29.13 ± 9.03 letters (20/70). At 6 months' follow-up, in group 1 the mean baseline BCVA was 39.06 ± 10.12 letters (20/42); in group 2, 33.87 ± 12.06 letters (20/57). Improvement was significant in both group 1 (P = 0.03) and group 2 (P = 0.002). In group 1, the mean CMT at baseline ± SD was 315 ± 95.49 μm; in group 2, 306.33 ± 71.61 μm. At 6 months' follow-up, in group 1 it was 202 ± 52.02 μm; in group 2, 226 ± 65.58 μm. Reduction was significant in both group 1 (P = 0.0007) and group 2 (P = 0.00001). After 6-months, the rate of retreated eyes was 29.4% in group 1 and 43.3% in group 2. The need for retreatment did not depend on the treatment protocol (P = 0.34).


From a functional and anatomic point of view, the two treatments showed equivalent efficacy, with fewer retreatments in group 1. No serious adverse events, such as retinal detachment, endophthalmitis, or ocular hypertension occurred in either group.

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