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Clin Ophthalmol. 2015 Feb 17;9:353-66. doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S59012. eCollection 2015.

Strategies for improving early detection and diagnosis of neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

Author information

1
NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London, UK.
2
Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, UK.

Abstract

Treatment of the neovascular form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has been revolutionized by the introduction of such agents as ranibizumab, bevacizumab, and aflibercept. As a result, the incidence of legal blindness occurring secondary to AMD has fallen dramatically in recent years in many countries. While these agents have undoubtedly been successful in reducing visual impairment and blindness, patients with neovascular AMD typically lose some vision over time, and often lose the ability to read, drive, or perform other important activities of daily living. Efforts are therefore under way to develop strategies that allow for earlier detection and treatment of this disease. In this review, we begin by providing an overview of the rationale for, and the benefits of, early detection and treatment of neovascular AMD. To achieve this, we begin by providing an overview of the pathophysiology and natural history of choroidal neovascularization, before reviewing the evidence from both clinical trials and "real-world" outcome studies. We continue by highlighting an area that is often overlooked: the importance of patient education and awareness for early AMD detection. We conclude the review by reviewing an array of both established and emerging technologies for early detection of choroidal neovascularization, ranging from Amsler chart testing, to hyperacuity testing, to advanced imaging techniques, such as optical coherence tomography.

KEYWORDS:

Amsler; choroidal neovascularization; detection; hyperacuity; optical coherence tomography

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