Retinal vascular abnormalities in neovascular age-related macular degeneration

T. L. Jackson
R. P. Danis
M. Goldbaum
J. S. Slakter
E. M. Shusterman
D. J. O'Shaughnessy
D. M. Moshfeghi


PURPOSE: To determine the prevalence of retinal vascular abnormalities (RVA) in neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). METHODS: A post hoc subanalysis of images acquired during a Phase III randomized controlled trial was undertaken, selecting images from participants with untreated, neovascular AMD in at least one eye. Protocol mandated fundus photographs and fluorescein angiograms were acquired at baseline and Year 2, from 107 sham-treated study eyes with neovascular AMD and 107 untreated fellow eyes. Images were reanalyzed by an independent reading center for the presence of RVA, defined as at least one of the following: microaneurysms, vessel staining or leakage, dilated or tortuous vessels, intraretinal hemorrhage, vessel sheathing or narrowing, capillary nonperfusion, or capillary infarcts. RESULTS: The baseline prevalence of RVA in the sham-treated study eyes was 14.4% (15 of 104 gradable images) versus 8.3% (5 of 60) in the fellow eyes with dry AMD. The baseline prevalence of individual RVAs in study eyes was: microaneurysms (6.7%), vessel staining or leakage (6.7%), dilated or tortuous vessels (4.8%), intraretinal hemorrhage (4.8%), vessel sheathing or narrowing (2.9%), capillary nonperfusion (0%), and capillary infarcts (0%). Results were similar at 24 months. CONCLUSION: Compared with several studies that relied solely on fundus photographs, this study included fluorescein angiography and found a higher prevalence of RVAs occurring in eyes with neovascular AMD.