For patients seeking to eliminate a range of body tumors, stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) can give them a noninvasive option. However, according to a new a clinical trial, the treatment can lead to retinal microvascular abnormalities (MVAs).

The randomized, double-masked, sham-controlled study looked at 230 patients at 21 European sites with age-related macular degeneration who had also undergone SRT treatment. The results showed frequency of MVAs at 30.3% by year three. The investigators note that the area of MVA was small and the mean change in visual acuity in year two was similar in a subset of SRT eyes with MVAs versus those without MVAs—suggesting little impact on acuity. In fact, according to the publication, which appeared in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, MVA was considered a possible contributor to vision loss in two of 18 cases with MVA in year two, and only five of 37 cases in year three.

Freiberg FJ, Michels S, Muldrew A, et al Microvascular abnormalities secondary to radiation therapy in neovascular age-related macular degeneration: findings from the INTREPID clinical trial. Br J Ophthalmol. June 21, 2018. [Epub ahead of print].