Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) with verteporfin (Visudyne)
Visudyne therapy is based on a novel technology called photodynamic therapy, which uses light to activate the drug, Visudyne, which is concentrated within abnormal blood vessels at the back of the eye (choroids).
First, Visudyne is injected into the bloodstream through a vein in the arm. The drug is quickly absorbed by the abnormal blood vessels in the back of the eye that cause sight loss in the “wet” form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Next, a cold laser is directed onto the affected area of the eye for exactly 83 seconds. This activates the drug and produces a reaction that destroys the abnormal blood vessels.
Visudyne is a multi-course therapy. It is typically given about every 3 months and as many times as needed to prevent regrowth of the abnormal vessels.The treatments are typically performed in a doctor’s office on an outpatient basis. It is now used in combination with Lucentis therapy for more effective treatment of wet AMD.
Recent uses of PDT include chronic central serous chorioretinopathy and polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy.