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Intravitreal anti-VEGF treatment in eyes with combined choroidal neovascularisation and vitreomacular traction syndrome


Purpose To report the effect of intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor injections (IVI) on visual acuity in eyes with choroidal neovascularisation (CNVM) and co-existent vitreomacular traction (VMT) or when VMT has developed during the course of treatment.

Methods Retrospective interventional case series of seven eyes in seven patients. VMT was monitored with serial optical coherence tomography scans.

Results The mean age at presentation was 74 years (range 64–95 years). All patients presented with blurring of central vision, rather than distortion. The aetiology of CNVM was wet age-related macular degeneration in five eyes (72%), angioid streaks in one eye (14%) and pathological myopia in one eye (14%). Ranibizumab was used in four eyes (57%) and bevacizumab in three (43%) for the active CNVM component. The mean follow-up was 11 months (range 2–28 months). None of the eyes in this series required surgery for the VMT component, nor were there any cases of spontaneous resolution of VMT. Visual acuity was stabilised or improved in five of the seven eyes (71%) with IVI. Visual acuity results across the whole group were gain of three or more lines of Snellen visual acuity in two eyes (28%), gain of up to three lines in three eyes (42%), no change in visual acuity in one eye (14%) and loss of up to three lines in one eye (14%). There were no eyes losing more than three lines of Snellen visual acuity. In four eyes with pre-existing VMT, visual acuity improved in three with IVI. In three eyes that developed VMT after IVI, visual acuity improved in two with IVI. Delay from diagnosis of CNVM to treatment with IVI contributed to a poor response.

Conclusions Most eyes improved visual acuity with IVI for combined CNVM and VMT. Despite the often dramatic features of VMT on optical coherence tomography, treatment of co-existing CNVM should be prompt. Vitreoretinal surgery was not required in this series, but is held in reserve if there is still potential for gain in vision following CNVM resolution.

  • Vitreomacular traction
  • age-related macular degeneration
  • anti-VEGF
  • choroidal neovascular membrane
  • retina
  • macula
  • angiogenesis
  • treatment surgery

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