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Verteporfin has recently been licensed for the treatment of subfoveal exudative cases of age related macular degeneration (AMD); however, it is not clear how many patients would actually benefit from this treatment.1,2 This question has far reaching implications in terms of verteporfin's introduction into the National Health Service in the United Kingdom.
We have recently looked at a cohort of 1418 new referrals (out of a possible 1481 (95.7%)) seen in the 166 consultant outpatient clinics at Southampton Eye Unit, between 1 December 2000 and 31 January 2001. Diagnoses were obtained from the consultant's letter to the referring doctor following the clinic visit to obtain the spectrum of diagnoses made. When two eyes were similarly affected this was recorded as a single diagnostic event.
Cataract related diagnoses3 were found to be most frequent, accounting for 28.8% (597) …