American Journal of Ophthalmology
August 2019

Five-Year Real-World Outcomes of Occult and Classic Choroidal Neovascularization: Data From the Fight Retinal Blindness! Project

Alessandro Invernizzi, Vuong Nguyen, Kelvin Teo, Daniel Barthelmes, Adrian Fung, Andrea Vincent, Mark Gillies


Purpose: To compare 5-year real-world outcomes of eyes with classic and occult choroidal neovascularization (CNV) treated with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) injections.

Design: Retrospective analysis from a prospectively designed observational database.

Methods: Treatment-naïve eyes diagnosed with occult or minimally or predominantly classic CNV that commenced anti-VEGF treatment between January 2007 and December 2012 were identified from a registry of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) treatment outcomes. Baseline characteristics, visual acuity (VA) at 5 years, change in VA, time to first inactivation, number of injections, and proportion of visits graded with active nAMD over the 5 years were compared between the 3 groups.

Results: A total of 1929 eyes from 1730 subjects (1196 occult, 289 minimally classic, and 444 predominantly classic CNV) were analyzed. Baseline VA (mean [standard deviation]) was higher in occult CNVs (56.9 [17.4] letters) than in minimally (52.9 [19.7] letters) and predominantly (49.1 [19.9] letters) classic CNVs (P = .003 and P < .0001, respectively). VA change was similar across the groups. At 5 years eyes with occult CNVs still had better VA than other CNVs. Age, lesion size, and baseline VA, but not CNV type, significantly affected final VA in the multivariate model. Predominantly classic CNVs became inactive sooner and were overall less active than other CNV types. The number of injections received was similar across the groups. Conclusions: Eyes with occult CNVs had overall a better VA than other CNVs. The difference in final VA was not significant after adjusting for baseline VA. Five-year outcomes and treatment patterns were not affected by the lesion type.