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      Angiographic findings in patients with exudative age-related macular degeneration.

      Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology

      Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Choroidal Neovascularization, diagnosis, etiology, therapy, Coloring Agents, diagnostic use, Exudates and Transudates, Female, Fluorescein Angiography, methods, Humans, Indocyanine Green, Laser Coagulation, Macular Degeneration, complications, Male, Middle Aged, Photochemotherapy, Prospective Studies

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          Exudative age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the leading cause for severe visual loss in the elderly. A series of clinical trials has established the efficacy of laser photocoagulation and photodynamic therapy (PDT) in special subgroups of patients with exudative ARMD. We analyzed the fluorescein and indocyanine green angiograms (ICG) of patients with exudative ARMD to characterize the nature of the CNV in order to estimate the percentage of patients amenable for one of the therapies. Patients with acute symptoms related to exudative ARMD were recruited for the study. All patients underwent fluorescein and ICG angiography. We analyzed the type of the CNV (classic, occult, or mixed) and location relative to the fovea from the fluorescein angiograms. Additionally, we recorded the presence of a visible capillary network in the early ICG angiograms, as well as hot spots and plaque hyperfluorescence in the late ICG angiographic frames. We included 191 patients aged 53-92 years in the study. The angiograms revealed in 17 (9%) patients classic CNV (12 subfoveal), in 114 (60%) occult CNV, and in 60 (31%) mixed CNV. Of these 19 had a classic component >50%. In the early ICG angiograms a capillary network was visible in 50 eyes with occult CNV. Hot spots were present in 29 eyes and a hyperfluorescent plaque in 54 eyes. In total, only 18% of eyes included in our study were eligible for laser photocoagulation or for photodynamic therapy (PDT). These numbers highlight the deficiencies of current treatment modalities for exudative ARMD. For this reason, alternative treatment should be further investigated to offer better treatment to patients with exudative ARMD.

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