Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
November 2023

Twenty-four-month real-life treatment outcomes of polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy versus type 1 macular neovascularization in Caucasians

Matteo Airaldi, Alessandro Invernizzi, Vuong Nguyen, Stela Vujosevic, Federico Ricci, Pietro Monaco, Marco Nassisi, Daniel Barthelmes, Mark Gillies, Francesco Viola


Background: To compare 24-month real-world outcomes of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) inhibitors for Polypoidal Choroidal Vasculopathy (PCV) and type 1 Macular Neovascularization (MNV) in a Caucasian population.

Methods: Retrospective analysis from a prospectively designed observational database. Data from Italian centres participating in the Fight Retinal Blindness! (FRB!) project were collected. Treatment-naïve PCV or type 1 MNV commencing treatment after January 2009 were included. The primary outcome was 24-month visual acuity (VA) change; other outcomes included baseline characteristics, number of anti-VEGF injections, time to lesion inactivation and proportion of active visits.

Results: A total of 322 eyes (114 PCVs) from 291 patients were included. Median [Q1, Q3] VA at baseline was comparable (70 [55, 75.8] vs. 70 [58.8, 75] letters, p = 0.95). Adjusted VA change at 2 years was higher in PCV (mean [95% CI], +1.2 [-1.6, 4.1] vs. -3.6 [-6, -1.2] letters, p = 0.005). PCV received fewer anti-VEGF injections over the first 24 months of treatment than type 1 MNV (median [Q1, Q3], 8 [5, 10] vs. 9 [7, 12.2] injections, p = 0.001), inactivated earlier (median [Q1, Q3], 235 [184, 308] vs. 252 [169, 343] days, p = 0.04) and was less frequently graded ‘active’ (62% vs. 68% of visits, p = 0.001).

Conclusions: PCV had slightly better VA outcomes over 24 months of treatment than type 1 MNV after receiving less anti-VEGF injections. These results suggest a possible overlap of the two clinical entities with similar visual prognosis in Caucasians.

Keywords: Caucasians; age-related macular degeneration; polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy; real-life; type 1 macular neovascularization.