By Chong Wee Hou, Optometrist, International Eye Cataract Retina Centre, Singapore

Polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV) is a unique subtype of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) associated with leakage of blood and fluid under the retina, the light-sensitive nerve layer lining the inside of the eye. PCV is characterized by the presence of grape-like (polypoidal) lesions in the highly vascular choroid layer underneath the retina.

PCV is a common cause of vision loss in individuals above the age of 50 years and is more prevalent in Asians than in Caucasians. As many as one in three patients with wet AMD has features of PCV. Although PCV is often considered a subtype of wet AMD, the natural history and management of the two conditions vary significantly.

Singapore has been at the forefront of research in the management of PCV and in developing evidence-based protocols for treating this potentially blinding condition. Novartis Pharmaceutical Pte. Ltd. recently organised a special Advisory Board Meeting of key retinal specialists in Singapore to discuss the current management options for PCV with particular reference to the latest results from the EVEREST II randomised controlled clinical trial. The EVEREST II research study compared treatment of PCV with two established treatment options – anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) injection monotherapy and combination therapy (photodynamic therapy combined with anti-VEGF injection therapy).

Dr Ajeet Madhav Wagle was invited to share his expert opinion at the closed-door meeting held in Hilton Singapore on 18 November 2017.  The valuable input from the retinal specialists will help shape the management protocol of PCV and steer the direction of future research in this area.