Future perspectives for treating patients with geographic atrophy

Anat Loewenstein, Omer Trivizki*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


Purpose: Geographic atrophy (GA) is a late-stage form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) characterized by the expansion of atrophic lesions in the outer retina. There are currently no approved pharmacological treatments to prevent or slow the progression of GA. This review describes the progression and assessment of GA, predictive imaging features, and complement-targeting investigational drugs for GA. Methods: A literature search on GA was conducted. Results: Expansion of atrophic lesions in patients with GA is associated with a decline in several measures of visual function. GA lesion size has been moderately associated with measures obtained through microperimetry, whereas GA lesion size in the 1-mm diameter area centered on the fovea has been associated with visual acuity. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) can provide 3-dimensional quantitative assessment of atrophy and is useful for identifying early atrophy in GA. Features that have been found to predict the development of GA include certain drusen characteristics and pigmentary abnormalities. Specific OCT features, including hyper-reflective foci and OCT-reflective drusen substructures, have been associated with AMD disease progression. Lesion characteristics, including focality, regularity of shape, location, and perilesional fundus autofluorescence patterns, have been identified as predictors of faster GA lesion growth. Certain investigational complement-targeting drugs have shown efficacy in slowing the progression of GA. Conclusion: GA is a progressive disease associated with irreversible vision loss. Therefore, the lack of treatment options presents a significant unmet need. OCT and drugs under investigation for GA are promising future tools for disease management. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1525-1531
Number of pages7
JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Complement
  • Disease progression
  • Geographic atrophy
  • Imaging
  • Vision


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