THE SUBMACULAR SURGERY TRIALS Research Group has published Group H Trial: SST Report No. 9, finding no significant benefit to surgery for subfoveal CNV over observation. Findings did support consideration of surgery for eyes with subfoveal CNV and BCVA worse than 20/100 in eyes that met study criteria.

The study enrolled 225 patients aged 18 years or older. Surgical removal of subfoveal choroidal neovascular lesions was performed in 112 study eyes; 113 eyes were assigned to the observation group.

Outcomes were "successful" (24-month visual acuity better or no more than one line worse than at baseline) in 46 percent of eyes in the observation arm and 55 percent in the surgery arm. Median visual acuity at the 24-month exam was 20/250 among eyes in the observation arm and 20/160 in the surgery arm.

A pre-specified subgroup of eyes with visual acuity worse than 20/100 at baseline had more successes with surgery; 76 percent of these eyes in the surgery group improved visual acuity, compared to 50 percent of these eyes in the observation group.

Jorge Alio, MD