Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology

, Volume 245, Issue 11, pp 1667–1672

Combined photodynamic therapy and intravitreal triamcinolone for neovascular age-related macular degeneration: effect of initial visual acuity on treatment response

  • Ramin Schadlu
  • Steven M. Kymes
  • Rajendra S. Apte
Retinal Disorders

DOI: 10.1007/s00417-007-0619-0

Cite this article as:
Schadlu, R., Kymes, S.M. & Apte, R.S. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol (2007) 245: 1667. doi:10.1007/s00417-007-0619-0



To evaluate visual outcomes in combination therapy with photodynamic therapy (PDT) and intravitreal triamcinolone acetonide (IVTA) for subfoveal choroidal neovascularization (CNV) from age-related macular degeneration (AMD).


Charts of 39 eyes from 38 patients with exudative AMD treated with PDT and 4 mg of triamcinolone acetate injected intravitreally were reviewed retrospectively. Visual data, angiographic lesion type, prior PDT exposure, number of treatments, and follow-up were recorded. Snellen visual acuities were converted to LogMAR for all calculations. Lines of vision lost or gained pertain to calculated ETDRS lines of vision (via LogMAR).


Twenty-two of the choroidal neovascular membranes were occult, and 17 were classified as predominantly classic. Mean follow-up was 43 weeks. The average number of treatments was 2.23. At final follow-up, 11 eyes (28.21%) experienced improved visual acuity, 8 eyes (20.51%) were stable, and 20 eyes (51.28%) had worsened. No significant difference in treatment response was found between angiographic subtypes (p > 0.59). Lack of previous PDT exposure did not improve treatment outcomes (p > 0.77). Pre-treatment visual acuity (PTVA) was determined as a strong predictor of treatment outcome in our study cohort. Visual acuity of 20/200 or worse was associated with a 40.9% chance of some improvement and a 35.75% chance of three or more lines of improvement. Visual acuity better than 20/200 was associated with an 89.4% chance of no improvement and a 58.8% chance of three or more lines of visual loss.


Counter to previously reported results with combination therapy, the majority of our patients (72%) did not demonstrate improved vision and 51% lost vision. When PTVA was accounted for, selected patients benefitted significantly from treatment. PTVA may be a useful and simple patient selection tool for combination treatment with PDT and IVTA.



Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ramin Schadlu
    • 1
  • Steven M. Kymes
    • 1
  • Rajendra S. Apte
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ophthalmology and Visual SciencesWashington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, Barnes Retina InstituteSt. LouisUSA