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Submacular hemorrhage in neovascular age-related macular degeneration: A synthesis of the literature

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dinu Stanescu-Segall, Florian Balta, Timothy L. Jackson

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-32
Number of pages15
JournalSurvey of Ophthalmology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

King's Authors


Large submacular hemorrhage, an uncommon manifestation of neovascular age-related macular degeneration, may also occur with idiopathic polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy. Submacular hemorrhage damages photoreceptors owing to iron toxicity, fibrin meshwork contraction, and reduced nutrient flux, with subsequent macular scarring. Clinical and experimental studies support prompt treatment, as tissue damage can occur within 24hours. Without treatment the natural history is poor, with a mean final visual acuity (VA) of 20/1600. Reported treatments include retinal pigment epithelial patch, macular translocation, pneumatic displacement, intravitreal or subretinal tissue plasminogen activator, intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drugs, and combinations thereof. In the absence of comparative studies, we combined eligible studies to assess the VA change before and after each treatment option. The greatest improvement occurred after combined pars plana vitrectomy, subretinal tissue plasminogen activator, intravitreal gas, and anti-vascular endothelial growth factor treatment, with VA improving from 20/1000 to 20/400. The best final VA occurred using combined intravitreal tissue plasminogen activator, gas, and anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy, with VA improving from 20/200 to 20/100. Both treatments had an acceptable safety profile, but most studies were small, and larger randomized controlled trials are needed to determine both safety and efficacy.

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