To determine if photodynamic therapy with verteporfin (Visudyne; CIBA Vision Corp, Duluth, GA) can improve the chance of stabilizing or improving vision (<8 letter loss) safely in patients with subfoveal choroidal neovascularization (CNV) caused by pathologic myopia.Multicenter, double-masked, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial at 28 ophthalmology practices in Europe and North AMERICA:One hundred twenty patients with subfoveal CNV caused by pathologic myopia with a greatest linear dimension no more than 5400 microM and best-corrected visual acuity (Snellen equivalent) of approximately 20/100 or better.Patients were randomly assigned (2:1) to verteporfin (6 mg per square meter of body surface area; n = 81) or placebo (5% dextrose in water; n = 39) administered via intravenous infusion of 30 ml over 10 minutes. Fifteen minutes after the start of the infusion, a laser light at 689 nm was delivered at an intensity of 600 mW/cm(2) over 83 seconds to give a light dose of 50 J/cm(2) to a round spot size on the retina with a diameter of 1000, microM larger than the greatest linear dimension of the choroidal neovascular lesion. At follow-up examinations every 3 months, retreatment with either verteporfin or placebo (as assigned at baseline) was applied to areas of fluorescein leakage if present.The primary outcome was the proportion of eyes at the follow-up examination 12 months after study entry with fewer than eight letters (approximately 1.5 lines) of visual acuity lost, adhering to an intent-to-treat analysis.At baseline, more than 90% of each group had evidence of classic CNV (regardless of whether occult CNV was present) and only 12 (15%) and 5 (13%) cases in the verteporfin and placebo groups, respectively, had occult CNV (regardless of whether classic CNV was present). Seventy-nine of the 81 verteporfin-treated patients (98%) compared with 36 of the 39 placebo-treated patients (92%) completed the month 12 examination. Visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and fluorescein angiographic outcomes were better in the verteporfin-treated eyes than in the placebo-treated eyes at every follow-up examination through the month 12 examination. At the month 12 examination, 58 (72%) of the verteporfin-treated patients compared with 17 (44%) of the placebo-treated patients lost fewer than eight letters (P < 0.01), including 26 (32%) versus 6 (15%) improving at least five letters (>/=1 line). Seventy (86%) of the verteporfin-treated patients compared with 26 (67%) of the placebo-treated patients lost fewer than 15 letters (P = 0.01). Few ocular or other systemic adverse events were associated with verteporfin therapy compared with placebo treatment.Because photodynamic therapy with verteporfin can safely increase the chance of stabilizing or improving vision in patients with subfoveal CNV from pathologic myopia compared with a placebo, we recommend ophthalmologists consider verteporfin therapy for treatment of such patients.
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View details for PubMedID 11320011