Drusen volume as a predictor of disease progression in patients with late age-related macular degeneration in the fellow eye

Nizar Saleh Abdelfattah, Hongyang Zhang, David S. Boyer, Philip J. Rosenfeld, William J. Feuer, Giovanni Gregori, Srinivas R. Sadda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Purpose. Increasing drusen volume was proposed to be a predictor of disease progression in age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In patients with late AMD in one eye, the fellow eyes without neovascularization are known to be at higher risk of developing exudative AMD. We evaluated the relationship between drusen volume in these fellow eyes and their progression to late AMD. Methods. A retrospective analysis included fellow eyes with drusen associated with nonexudative AMD. All eyes with neovascular AMD were treated with intravitreal ranibizumab, aflibercept, and/or bevacizumab and followed for 2 years. All eyes were scanned with the Cirrus HD-OCT using a 512 × 128 scan pattern. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) data at baseline, month 12, and month 24 were collected using the advanced RPE analysis tool to quantify drusen volume within 3- and 5-mm-diameter circles centered on the fovea. Optical coherence tomography scans were also evaluated for the development of geographic atrophy (GA) or macular neovascularization (MNV). Results. Eighty-nine patients who had neovascular AMD in only one eye were studied. Optical coherence tomography drusen volume in the absence of MNV could be measured in 61 participants (68.5%). After 12 months, 4 eyes (4.5%) developed MNV and 15 eyes (16.9%) developed GA. By 24 months of follow-up, an additional 5 eyes (7.1%) developed MNV and an additional 10 eyes (14.3%) developed GA. At month 24, the eyes that developed GA or MNV had baseline drusen volumes that were significantly larger than in eyes that did not develop late AMD. Patients with a drusen volume over 0.03 mm3 had a greater than 4-fold increased risk for developing late AMD compared with those with lower drusen volumes. Conclusions. Baseline drusen volume appears to be an important predictor for the development of late AMD within 2 years in eyes that have fellow eyes being actively treated for MNV. This suggests that OCT-derived drusen volume measurements may be a useful biomarker to identify eyes at the highest risk for progression to late AMD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1839-1846
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2016


  • Choroidal neovascularization
  • Drusen volume
  • Geographic atrophy
  • Macular degeneration
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Retinal drusen
  • Wet macular degeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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