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December 1996

The Peril of the Pilot Study

Author Affiliations

Bethesda, Md; Baltimore, Md

Arch Ophthalmol. 1996;114(12):1506-1507. doi:10.1001/archopht.1996.01100140704011

As Dr Bressler and his colleagues1 point out, much is yet to be learned about the prognosis of patients with age-related macular degeneration who have poorly demarcated or "occult" choroidal neovascularization (CNV). Their 2-year follow-up of 100 patients with this condition provides new and important information about the natural history of the disease. Although previous publications have suggested a more benign prognosis for these patients than for those with "classic" CNV,2-4 patients in this study had a higher rate of visual loss than previously suspected. For patients meeting this study's eligibility criteria, the 1-year risk of losing 6 lines of visual acuity (a quadrupling of the initial visual angle) was about 40% for treated or untreated eyes. This is about the same rate of loss of visual acuity that was documented by the Macular Photocoagulation Study (MPS) Group in untreated eyes with newly developed subfoveal CNV.5 More