Detecting Recurrent Choroidal Neovascularization: Comparison of Clinical Examination With and Without Fluorescein Angiography

Scott O. Sykes, Neil M. Bressler, Maureen G. Maguire, Andrew P. Schachat, Susan B. Bressler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective/Design: To evaluate prospectively the ability of three retina specialists to detect recurrent choroidal neovascularization (CNV) after clinical examination alone and then with fluorescein angiography at 3 and 6 weeks and at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after laser photocoagulation. Setting: Single tertiary retinal referral center. Patients: All patients who had laser treatment for CNV within 14 months of their study visit. One hundred thirty-seven eyes of 134 patients were evaluated during 401 visits. Main Outcome Measures: Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of clinical examination with biomicroscopy to detect recurrent CNV when defined as leakage on the periphery of the laser-treated area on the fluorescein angiogram. Results: Ninety-seven definite or probable recurrences in 56 eyes were identified on the fluorescein angiogram. Clinical examination had a sensitivity of 59%, specificity of 94%, positive predictive value of 76%, and negative predictive value of 88%. These figures varied somewhat by underlying cause, age, time since treatment, and lesion location. Using either a reported or measured loss of vision with the results of biomicroscopy as an indication of recurrence increased the sensitivity to 77% but reduced the specificity to 81%. Conclusions: Clinical examination probably cannot replace fluorescein angiography in detecting all recurrent CNV after laser treatment. However, for follow-up visits in which recurrent CNV was not suspected on biomicroscopy, definite or questionable recurrent CNV was identified on the fluorescein angiogram only 12% of the time, while the absence of recurrent CNV using this method was confirmed 88% of the time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1561-1566
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of ophthalmology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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