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Arch Ophthalmol. 1998 Jan;116(1):27-30.

Short-term oral pentoxifylline use increases choroidal blood flow in patients with age-related macular degeneration.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Vienna University, Austria.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To study the ocular hemodynamic effects of a 3-month oral treatment with pentoxifylline in patients with nonexudative age-related macular degeneration.

DESIGN:

Double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, parallel group study.

SETTING:

Outpatient clinic of the Department of Ophthalmology, Vienna University, Vienna, Austria, that specializes in age-related macular degeneration.

METHODS:

Forty patients with age-related macular degeneration received pentoxifylline (400 mg 3 times a day orally, n=20) or placebo (n=20) for 3 months. Retinal blood flow was assessed by scanning laser Doppler flowmetry and pulsatile choroidal blood flow was assessed by laser interferometric measurement of fundus pulsation amplitude.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Changes in retinal blood flow and fundus pulsation amplitude.

RESULTS:

Four patients receiving pentoxifylline and 3 patients receiving placebo discontinued medication because of nausea. In the remaining subjects, the use of pentoxifylline increased ocular fundus pulsation amplitude (P<.001 vs placebo and baseline). The maximum increase was 28% after 3 months. In contrast, retinal blood flow was not changed by the use of pentoxifylline.

CONCLUSIONS:

A 3-month course of oral pentoxifylline treatment increases choroidal but not retinal blood flow in patients with age-related macular degeneration. These data strongly support the concept that pentoxifylline might be useful in the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. Long-term clinical outcome trials are now warranted to test this hypothesis.

PMID:
9445205
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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