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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2018 Aug 1;59(10):4307-4317. doi: 10.1167/iovs.17-23747.

Anti-VEGF Monotherapy Versus Photodynamic Therapy and Anti-VEGF Combination Treatment for Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Meta-Analysis.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Shandong Provincial Qianfoshan Hospital, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong Province, People's Republic of China.



The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy and safety of anti-VEGF monotherapy with verteporfin photodynamic therapy (PDT) and anti-VEGF combination treatment in neovascular AMD.


This study used a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.


We included a total of 16 studies that included 587 patients in the monotherapy group and 673 in the combination treatment group. There was no statistical difference between best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and central retinal thickness (CRT) at end of the study and the proportions of patients who gained ≥15 BCVA letters between the two treatment groups. Nevertheless, combination therapy required fewer anti-VEGF injections than monotherapy. Subgroup analyses showed that CRT at end of the study was thinner in the standard-fluence (SF) PDT combination therapy group than in the monotherapy group (weighted mean difference [WMD]: 17.256; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.423∼29.089; P = 0.004). The reduced-fluence (RF) PDT combination therapy group required fewer anti-VEGF injections than the monotherapy group (WMD: 3.217; 95% CI: 2.798∼3.636; P < 0.001), while the number of anti-VEGF treatments between the SF PDT combination therapy and monotherapy groups was not statistically different (WMD: 0.23; 95% CI: -0.016∼0.475; P = 0.067). In the combination therapy group, there was no difference between the PDT + anti-VEGF versus anti-VEGF retreatment regimens.


This study indicates that verteporfin PDT and anti-VEGF combination therapy is effective for achieving BCVA gain and CRT reduction comparable with that of anti-VEGF monotherapy. Combination therapy with RF PDT can potentially decrease the number of anti-VEGF injections needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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