AIM To clarify the incidence of choroidal neovascularisation (CNV) and predisposing findings for development of CNV in the second eye of Japanese patients with unilateral exudative age related macular degeneration (AMD).
METHODS The second eyes of unilaterally affected patients with exudative (neovascular) AMD treated in our clinic during the past 10 years (1988–97) were carefully followed up for more than a year. Evidence of CNV was confirmed by fluorescein and indocyanine green angiography. Macular lesions in patients, in whom CNV developed in the second eye, were retrospectively evaluated from patient records.
RESULTS 170 patients met the criteria. The average follow up period was 47 months (range 12–108 months). All patients were Japanese. CNV developed in the second eye in 12 (7%) of 170 patients, 30.3 months on average after the first examination. Cumulative incidence of developing CNV in the second eye using Kaplan–Meier life table analysis was: 0.6% by 1 year, 5.6% by 3 years, and 12.3% by 5 years, and was relatively low compared with that in white patients. CNV developed most frequently from serous pigment epithelial detachment (PED) in the macula (58%). Soft drusen were not prevalent and risk of developing CNV was not very high (18%).
CONCLUSION It was confirmed that there were some differences in the incidence and predisposing findings for CNV developing in AMD among Japanese and other Asian patients compared with those in white people. It is important to recognise these differences between the two populations to understand the pathogenesis and epidemiology of AMD.
- age related macular degeneration
- choroidal neovascularisation
- soft drusen
- retinal pigment epithelium
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