A Systematic Review of Clinical Practice Guidelines for Age-related Macular Degeneration

Xiaotong Han, Yanxian Chen, Iris Gordon, Sare Safi, Gareth Lingham, Jennifer Evans, Stuart Keel, Mingguang He

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In response to the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) World report on vision, the WHO is developing a Package of Eye Care Interventions (PECI) to support the integration of eye care into health systems within countries. This study was done to systematically review clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) related to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) to provide evidence-based recommendations. Methods: All AMD-related CPGs published between 2010 and 2020 were reviewed and evaluated using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II (AGREE II) tool. Results: Of 3778 CPGs identified, 48 underwent full-text screening and eight underwent quality appraisal. Five National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE, UK) guidelines for AMD were finally selected for data extraction. Intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) treatment was strongly recommended for advanced, active neovascular AMD based on high-quality evidence. Photodynamic therapy and laser photocoagulation were not recommended as an adjunct to anti-VEGF therapy as first-line treatment for AMD. Recommendations on other interventions, including epiretinal brachytherapy, miniature lens system implantation, and limited macular translocation, were weak and evidence mostly came from low-quality case series studies. Hence these interventions were recommended to be used only with special arrangements or research. Existing evidence on treating geographic atrophy was limited, an implantable miniature telescope might be an effective intervention to improve vision but was still under investigation. Discussion: Current CPGs recommend anti-VEGF therapy for patients with late active neovascular AMD, while other interventions should be used with caution and further researches are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-220
Number of pages8
JournalOphthalmic Epidemiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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