Atrophic age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

What is it?

AMD, also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a disease that affects the macula, the central region of the retina. AMD almost always affects both eyes, has a progressive course that can lead to permanent loss of central vision, and is the leading cause of low vision in people over 50 in industrialized countries.

Drusen, yellowish retinal lesions found on examination of the eye fundus, are characteristic precursors of the disease.

Two types of AMD are distinguished:

  • “neovascular”, “wet” or “exudative” AMD;
  • “atrophic”, “dry”, or “non-exudative” AMD.

Which are the symptoms?

Neovascular AMD is characterized by the formation of neovascular vessels that alter normal anatomy. These vessels bleed easily and secrete fluid that accumulates in the retina. Without treatment, these lesions develop, forming a large central lesion with decreased vision.

Atrophic AMD is characterized by the presence of drusen, pigmentary changes in the fundus and, subsequently, extensive loss of retinal cells with defined boundaries (geographic atrophy). The loss of vision is rather gradual and depends on the degree of macular damage.

How is it diagnosed?

The GSD Atrophic AMD Service offers patients high-resolution morphologic and functional imaging evaluations, including fundus autofluorescence, ocular angiography, optical coherence tomography (OCT), microperimetry and ocular electrophysiologic support.

How is it treated?

Although there is no proven treatment for atrophic AMD, several experimental treatment protocols are underway at the San Raffaele Hospital Eye Clinic and other selected centers of excellence around the world. Evaluations conducted by Atrophic AMD Service allow patients to be referred to a variety of experimental treatment protocols.

Where do we treat it?

Within the San Donato Group, you can find Atrophic age-related macular degeneration (AMD) specialists at these departments:

Are you interested in receiving the treatment?

Contact us and we will take care of you.