PURPOSE To perform a descriptive analysis of the effects on ocular blood flow of transpupillary thermotherapy (TTT) for occult subfoveal choroidal neovascular membranes (CNVMs) in age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
METHODS Eleven subjects with occult subfoveal CNVM due to AMD were assessed in a masked fashion by color Doppler imaging (CDI) within 24 hours before, 24 hours after, and 1 month after undergoing TTT.
RESULTS In the posterior ciliary arteries (PCAs), there were no statistically significant changes observed in the peak systolic velocity (PSV), end diastolic velocity (EDV), or resistive index (RI) at 24 hours. At 1 month, the mean EDV decreased 36% (P = 0.0105) and the mean RI increased 3.8% (P = 0.0305) in the nasal PCA. Although there was a similar trend in the temporal PCA, the differences did not reach statistical significance. In the central retinal artery (CRA), the mean PSV decreased 16% (P = 0.0137), and the mean EDV decreased 21% (P = 0.0222) at 24 hours after treatment. There were no statistically significant differences in the CRA blood flow indices at 1 month after treatment. In the ophthalmic artery, there were no statistically significant differences observed in the mean PSV, EDV, or RI at 24 hours or 1 month after treatment.
CONCLUSIONS TTT is associated with transiently decreased volumetric blood flow in the retinal circulation 24 hours after treatment. In the posterior ciliary arteries that supply the choroid, there were no changes observed at 24 hours, but at 1 month, there was a decrease in the mean EDV and an increase in the RI in the nasal and temporal PCAs, reaching statistical significance in the nasal PCA only. This study suggests that TTT could lead to alterations in choroidal blood flow, as assessed by CDI. Further study is warranted.