PURPOSE: Retinal fluid and thickness are important anatomical features of disease activity in neovascular age-related macular degeneration, as evidenced by clinical trials that have used these features for inclusion criteria, retreatment criteria, and outcome measures of the efficacy of intravitreal injections of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agents. METHODS: A literature review of anatomical measures of disease activity was conducted. RESULTS: Treatment goals for neovascular age-related macular degeneration include improving/maintaining vision by drying the retina, and several analyses have evaluated the relationship between visual function and anatomy. The change in retinal thickness has been found to correlate with the change in the visual acuity, and variation in retinal thickness may predict visual acuity outcomes. In addition, specific fluid compartments may have different prognostic values. For example, the presence of intraretinal fluid has been associated with poorer visual acuity, whereas the presence of subretinal fluid has been associated with better visual acuity. Retinal fluid and thickness are important for selecting dosing interval durations in clinical trials and clinical practice. CONCLUSION: Retinal thickness and retinal fluid are common anatomical measures of disease activity in neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Further research is required to fully elucidate the relationship between anatomical features and visual outcomes in neovascular age-related macular degeneration.
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