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Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 1997 Oct;235(10):656-61.

Low-dose radiation therapy for age-related macular degeneration.

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Philipps University, Department of Ophthalmology, Marburg, Germany.



The study was carried out to evaluate the effect of low-dose radiation therapy in patients with age-related macular degeneration.


One hundred eyes of 78 patients (mean age 72 years) with different forms of age-related macular degeneration were treated with external beam radiotherapy between 1971 and 1989. In four fractions a total dose of 2 Gy was administered over 7 days. Radiation therapy was performed by the conventional 200-kV technique. The mean duration of follow-up period was 7 years (range 0.5 to 20 years). A control group was composed of 96 eyes from patients with AMD who received no therapy. The mean visual acuity at first presentation and the duration of follow-up was the same as in the treatment group.


No difference in visual acuity between the treatment and control groups could be observed. After 1, 2, 5 and 10 years the mean visual acuity was equal in the radiation group and the control group. Even in subgroup analysis regarding only the eyes with exudative forms of AMD, no effect of this treatment strategy could be demonstrated.


Our results suggest that low-dose radiation therapy in patients with age-related macular degeneration has no beneficial effect. However, it must be considered that the dose of 2 Gy is low in comparison to doses used in recently published studies (5-24 Gy).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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