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Photodynamic Therapy in Subfoveal Choroidal Neovascularisation

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The exudative form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among people over 50 years of age in the western world. In 2–10% of cases a subfoveal choroidal neovascularisation develops. Conventional laser treatment leads to an unspecific destruction of the CNV including adjacent retinal structures. In addition, significant and immediate vision loss occurs, particularly in cases with central, subfoveal localization of the CNV.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) employing photochemical activation of verteporfin as a photosensitizer induces selective occlusion of CNV with minimal damage to the neurosensory retina and does not impair visual acuity. It became avaible in early 2000 as the first approved drug therapy for patients with subfoveal neovascular AMD and since 2001 for CNV in pathologic myopia.

This article describes the mechanism of action of PDT under the focus of clinical application. Own clinical and angiographic examples demonstrate the scope and possibilities of this new treatment option.
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Keywords: Subfoveal choroidal neovascularisation; age-related macular degeneration; pathologic myopia; photodynamic therapy; verteporfin

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: Department of Ophthalmology, Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany

Publication date: 2002-12-01

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