Author(s): Loughnan MS, Heriot WJ, ODay J
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Abstract Systemic interferon-alpha has recently been reported to be useful in the treatment of choroidal neovascular membranes (CNVM) in age-related macular degeneration. To further investigate its effect we treated eight patients with subfoveal choroidal neovascular membranes of various aetiologies including idiopathic, age-related macular degeneration and myopic chorioretinal degeneration. Only one of the eight patients responded with an angiographically demonstrated decrease in the size of the CNVM; this was in a patient from the idiopathic group. Considerable side-effects were reported with marked lethargy and malaise limiting compliance with some patients. Although this is an initial report with limited patient numbers and follow-up, it does suggest a role for interferon-alpha in patients with idiopathic neovascular membranes where the retina is otherwise normal, but raises some doubt as to its efficacy in the treatment of age-related macular degeneration.
This article was published in Aust N Z J Ophthalmol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology