The potential importance of detection of neovascular age-related macular degeneration when visual acuity is relatively good

Allen C. Ho, Thomas A Albini, David M. Brown, David S. Boyer, Carl D. Regillo, Jeffrey S. Heier

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

13 Scopus citations


The advent of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor treatment has changed the prognosis for patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nvAMD). The ability to stabilize or improve vision with these treatments is a major step in enabling patients to continue to function at the highest possible level. Many studies have demonstrated that the better the visual acuity (VA) is at the time of treatment initiation, the higher the likelihood that VA will be better during at least the following 2 years; as such, detection of nvAMD when VA is relatively good is important. Data on the VA of patients with intermediate AMD and VA at the time of nvAMD diagnosis suggest that patients are typically losing an average of 3 to 5 lines of vision and possibly more between the time that intermediate AMD progresses to nvAMD and the diagnosis of nvAMD is made. The average patient may have nvAMD for 6 to 12 months before diagnosis and treatment initiation. Current efforts in management of nvAMD are primarily aimed at optimizing anti-vascular endothelial growth factor treatments that have the potential to improve VA outcomes by amagnitude of letters. Additional tools or other efforts to identify patients with nvAMD before substantial vision loss has occurred may reduce the amount of visual loss sustained with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy, and have the potential to improve VA outcomes substantially.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-273
Number of pages6
JournalJAMA Ophthalmology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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