BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the long-term results of an implantable miniature telescope (IMT) in patients with bilateral, end-stage, age-related macular degeneration (AMD). METHODS: A prospective, open-label, multicenter clinical trial with fellow eye controls enrolled 217 patients (mean age 76 years) with AMD and moderate-to-profound bilateral central visual acuity loss (20/80-20/800) resulting from untreatable geographic atrophy, disciform scars, or both. A subgroup analysis was performed with stratification for age (patient age 65 to[group 1; n=70] and patient age >/=75 years [group 2; n=127]), with a comparative evaluation of change in best-corrected distance visual acuity (BCDVA), quality of life, ocular complications from surgery, adverse events, and endothelial cell density (ECD). Follow-up in an extension study was 60 months. RESULTS: Data were available for 22, 38, and 31 patients in group 1 and 42, 46, and 32 patients in group 2 at 36, 48, and 60 months, respectively. Mean BCDVA improvement from baseline to 60 months was 2.41+/-2.69 lines in all patients (n=76), with 2.64+/-2.55 lines in group 1 and 2.09+/-2.88 lines in group 2. Quality of life scores were significantly higher in group 1. The most common significant surgery-related ocular complications in group 1 were iritis >30 days after surgery (7/70; 10%) and persistent corneal edema (3/70; 4.3%); and in group 2 were a decrease in BCDVA in the implanted eye or IMT removal (10/127 each; 7.9%), corneal edema >30 days after surgery (9/127; 7.1%), and persistent corneal edema (6/127; 4.7%). Significant adverse events included four corneal transplants, comprising two (2.9%) in group 1 and two (1.6%) in group 2. At 60 months, one patient in group 1 (3.2%) and three patients in group 2 (9.4%) had lost >/=2 lines of vision. The IMT was removed in one (1.4%) and ten (7.9%) patients in group 1 and group 2, respectively. Mean ECD loss was 20% at 3 months. Chronic loss was 3% per year. ECD loss was less in group 1 than in group 2 (35% versus 40%, respectively) at 60 months. CONCLUSION: Long-term results show substantial retention of improvement in BDCVA. Chronic ECD loss was consistent with that reported for conventional intraocular lenses. The IMT performed as well in group 1 (the younger group) as it did in group 2 through month 60. Younger patients retained more vision than their older counterparts and had fewer adverse events. Although not a specified outcome for this study, patients younger than 65 years also fared better than those in group 2 and retained more vision with fewer adverse events through month 60.