Clinicopathologic study after submacular removal of choroidal neovascular membranes treated with verteporfin ocular photodynamic therapy AMERICAN JOURNAL OF OPHTHALMOLOGY Moshfeghi, D. M., Kaiser, P. K., Grossniklaus, H. E., Sternberg, P., Sears, J. E., Johnson, M. W., Ratliff, N., Branco, A., Blumenkranz, M. S., Lewis, H. 2003; 135 (3): 343-350


To report the clinicopathologic findings after submacular removal of choroidal neovascular membranes (CNV) treated with verteporfin ocular photodynamic therapy.Interventional case series.Retrospective review of eight eyes of eight patients who underwent submacular surgery for CNV after having previously received verteporfin ocular photodynamic therapy for presumed ocular histoplasmosis (one patient), age-related macular degeneration ([AMD] three patients) pathologic myopia (two patients), punctate inner choroiditis (one patient), and idiopathic CNV (one patient). All cases had undergone ocular photodynamic therapy with verteporfin using standard protocols. Six of eight patients suffered a submacular hemorrhage after ocular photodynamic therapy, and two of eight patients refused further ocular photodynamic therapy. All patients subsequently had submacular surgery with removal of the CNV. One membrane was routinely processed, sectioned, and stained with hematoxylin and eosin. Five membranes were stained with toluidine blue for light microscopic examination. Semithin (1.0 microm) sections were cut and stained with uranyl acetate-lead citrate for transmission electron microscopy.Choroidal neovascular membranes were removed at 3 days (presumed ocular histoplasmosis), 29 days (punctate inner choroiditis), 63 days (AMD, pathologic myopia), 66 days (AMD), 107 days (pathologic myopia), 116 days (AMD), and 152 days (idiopathic) after verteporfin ocular photodynamic therapy. Histopathologic and ultrastructural examination showed areas of vascular occlusion at 3 days that were not seen at later time points. All specimens had patent CNV. There were signs of vascular damage with extravasated erythrocytes and fibrin, pigment clumping in cells, and inflammatory cells in all but the 3-day specimen.This case series presents data only from patients who refused repeat treatment with ocular photodynamic therapy or who developed submacular hemorrhage after initial photodynamic therapy. Histopathologic evaluation of CNV 3 days after verteporfin ocular photodynamic therapy showed partial vascular occlusion that was not present in later specimens. These later specimens demonstrated evidence of vascular damage. Verteporfin ocular photodynamic therapy does not appear to lead to permanent and complete occlusion of the CNV. Thus, treatments that lead to permanent closure of CNV without damage to the retinal pigment epithelium and sensory retina are still needed.

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