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Interferon alfa-2a in the treatment of exudative age-related macular degeneration


Nineteen patiens (20 eyes) with the exudative form of macular degeneration were treated with parenteral interferon alfa-2a. Fifteen patients (16 eyes) had adequate follow-up for evaluation of outcome of the exudative macular lesion. The average follow-up was 8 months (range 5-11 months). Color photographs and fluorescein angiograms were evaluated independently by two masked readers for change in size, presence of fibrosis, and leakage of the neovascular lesion. During the follow-up, none of the exudative lesions resolved: one lesion became smaller, four remained the same, nine enlarged, and two could not be graded based on the photographs. Visual acuity remained 20/40 or better in four eyes. The proportion of eyes with visual acuity of 20/200 or worse increased from 35% at the initial visit to 59 % at the final visit. Ten patients experienced significant but reversible side effects, including weight loss, depression, and/or hematopoietic suppression. The data from these cases do not support any significant treatment benefit from interferon alfa-2a at the doses used in exudative macular degeneration.

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Correspondence to Mary Lou Lewis.

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Lewis, M.L., Davis, J. & Chuang, E. Interferon alfa-2a in the treatment of exudative age-related macular degeneration. Graefe's Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 231, 615–618 (1993).

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  • Visual Acuity
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Initial Visit
  • Final Visit
  • Color Photograph