PURPOSE. Formation of choroidal neovascular membranes in diseases such as ARMD causes devastating vision loss. ARMD is a major cause of complete, central vision loss in people over 65 years of age. The treatment of choice for eliminating CNV is photodynamic therapy. This process uses laser photocoagulation to halt the new tissue growth. This procedure effects visual acuity. The effects on acuity have been demonstrated by two important clinical studies.
The treatment of age related macular degeneration with photodynamic therapy study (TAP) and verteporfin in photodynamic therapy study (VIP) were born from clinical trials for photodynamic therapy used to treat choroidal neovascular membranes. These studies have documented the visual acuity levels of patients post-treatment. The TAP study shows that after one year, 61% of treated eyes have had a decrease in visual acuity of three lines or less. Remaining eyes either gained acuity or suffered a more severe vision loss. The VIP study shows that 46% of treated eyes suffered a loss of three lines or less of visual acuity. These studies indicate that patients are likely to have only a mild vision loss after treatments, but are these studies indicative of results obtained outside clinical trials. METHOD. To compare these trial results with Illinois Eye Institute results, acuity levels of 34 patients, treated at the University of Chicago, were tracked. The acuity levels were then compared to those in the TAP and VIP studies to determine if the results compare or contrast with the previously reported results.
RESULTS. Illinois Eye Institute patients, treated with photodynamic therapy, showed 60% of treated eyes had a decrease of three lines or less in visual acuity.
CONCLUSIONS. The resulting visual acuity levels of Illinois Eye Institute patients compare favorably with the results of the TAP and VIP studies.