High recurrence rate in patients with choroidal hemangioma treated with limited single spot photodynamic therapy during long-term follow-up

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Purpose: To evaluate the long-term follow-up of patients with a circumscribed choroidal hemangioma (CCH) treated with limited single spot photodynamic therapy (PDT) at the Amsterdam University Medical Center, location AMC (AUMC). Methods: This cross-sectional study included 17 patients, treated between 2001 and 2012. Evaluation included best corrected visual acuity, slitlamp examination, fundoscopy, ophthalmic ultrasonography (USG), fluorescein/indocyanine green angiography (FA/ICG), fundus autofluorescence (FAF) and optical coherence tomography (OCT). Primary outcome: recurrence rate, secondary outcomes: long-term functional and structural changes. Results: An unexpected high recurrence rate of 35% (n6) was found with a mean follow-up time between treatment and recurrence of almost 6 years, range 2.8–10.7 years. With a recurrence, the classical CCH pattern was no longer recognizable on FA or ICG. Signs of leakage were best observed with OCT, and the recurrence could be confirmed with USG. Retreatment with PDT of all recurrences was successful. After a successful initial PDT, the achieved visual acuity (VA) showed a small decrease over time, median VA from 0.10 LogMar to 0.15 LogMar (p 0.09) after a mean follow-up of 11.36 years (range 5.1–15.5 years). During follow-up study visit, the OCT revealed a slightly increased thickness of the choroid in 86% of cases at the site of the original tumour, without a clear correlation to the recurrences. Conclusion: Limited single spot PDT is a safe and effective treatment for CCH preserving a good VA. However, because of the relatively high recurrence rate found in this study, we recommend regular follow-up with OCT every 6 months.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-686
Number of pages8
JournalActa ophthalmologica
Issue number7
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • circumscribed choroidal hemangioma
  • long-term follow-up
  • photodynamic therapy
  • recurrence

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