Tissue plasminogen activator for subfoveal hemorrhage due to age-related macular degeneration

Janelle M. Fassbender, Mark P. Sherman, Charles C. Barr, Shlomit Schaal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Purpose: To analyze and compare the effects of three common treatment modalities for a thick subfoveal hemorrhage due to exudative age-related macular degeneration on final visual acuity and the size of the final subretinal scar. Design: Retrospective case series. Setting: Single-site, tertiary referral center. Patients: Thirty-nine patients with exudative age-related macular degeneration and acute SMH greater than 250 m. Intervention: Patients received vitrectomy with a subretinal tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) injection, pneumatic displacement (PD) with intravitreal tPA, or PD without tPA within 2 weeks of presentation. Main Outcome Measure: Functional outcome was determined by Snellen visual acuity. Anatomical outcome was determined as the final disciform scar size. Results: Treatment groups did not differ in age, sex, initial visual acuity, the initial area of the thick subfoveal hemorrhage, follow-up duration, lens status, duration of exudative age-related macular degeneration, previous intravitreal bevacizumab injections, or time from last given injection to the acute thick subfoveal hemorrhage. Final visual acuity improved significantly in both the vitrectomy and subretinal tPA injection group (P < 0.001), and the intravitreal tPA injection group (P 0.002) but not with PD alone. Patients treated with subretinal tPA achieved 40% ± 54% reduction in final scar area, in contrast to 27% ± 35% decrease in patients treated with intravitreal tPA (P 0.001). Conclusion: Treatment with tPA improves the functional and anatomical outcomes in patients with thick subfoveal hemorrhage due to subfoveal choroidal neovascular membrane secondary to exudative age-related macular degeneration and was superior to PD without tPA. Vitrectomy with subretinal tPA injection reduced the final disciform scar compared with PD with or without intravitreal tPA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1860-1865
Number of pages6
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • age-related macular degeneration
  • pneumatic displacement
  • submacular hemorrhage
  • tissue plasminogen activator
  • vitrectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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