REGRESSION OF TYPE 2 NEOVASCULARIZATION INTO A TYPE 1 PATTERN AFTER INTRAVITREAL ANTI-VASCULAR ENDOTHELIAL GROWTH FACTOR THERAPY FOR NEOVASCULAR AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION

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Abstract

Purpose:

To study eyes with Type 2 (subretinal) neovascularization (NV) secondary to neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) that shows lesion regression into a Type 1 (subretinal pigment epithelium) pattern after treatment with intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapy.

Methods:

Retrospective consecutive case series. Patients showing regression of Type 2 neovascularization into a Type 1 pattern after envelopment by retinal pigment epithelium were included in this analysis. A review of the clinical records and multimodal imaging of these cases was performed at baseline, 1, 3, 6, and 12 months. Demographic data, best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), color fundus photography, fundus autofluorescence (FAF), fluorescein angiography, near-infrared reflectance (NIR), and structural spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) were reviewed and analyzed. When available, optical coherence tomography angiography images were analyzed as well.

Results:

Ten eyes of 9 patients (6 males) diagnosed with treatment-naive pure Type 2 neovascularization secondary to nAMD were included. The mean age was 80.7 years (SD ± 4.30). Mean best-corrected visual acuity expressed in logMAR (Snellen) was 0.45 ± 0.20 (20/55) at baseline and significantly improved to 0.22 ± 0.13 (20/32) at 3-month follow-up (P-value: 0.007). At baseline, color photographs and fundus autofluorescence showed a pigment ring around the neovascular lesion in 6 eyes. A hyperreflective ring was visible on NIR in all eyes at 3-month follow-up. Color photographs showed a tessellated fundus appearance in 9 of the 10 eyes. Serial structural spectral-domain optical coherence tomography scans showed the gradual regression of the Type 2 lesions into a Type 1 pattern with envelopment by the retinal pigment epithelium. En face and cross-sectional optical coherence tomography angiography showed baseline subretinal flow patterns which, after treatment, exhibited reduced flow beneath an intact hyperreflective retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) band.

Conclusion:

Pure Type 2 lesions are infrequent in nAMD, often leading to poor visual outcomes related to subretinal fibrosis. We describe an alternate regression pattern occurring in eyes with early Type 2 lesions treated with intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy in which the neovascular tissue is enveloped by retinal pigment epithelium producing a Type 1 pattern. These eyes appear to have better visual outcomes than typically seen with Type 2 lesions related to reduced outer retinal damage.

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