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Evidence to Improve Care

Optical Coherence Tomography Monitoring Strategies for A-VEGF-Treated Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee Recommendation

  • During active anti-angiogenic therapy for macular disease, access to optical coherence tomography be provided monthly as the basis for treatment.

Read the full OHTAC Recommendation report

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a serious retinal disease. It is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in older adults that cannot be reversed. The macula is the part of the eye’s retina that enables sharp, central vision needed for close work, such as reading and writing, for driving and for recognizing faces.

An estimated 6.5 percent of people have age-related macular degeneration. At a particular stage, called neovascular, age-related macular degeneration increases from 0.04 percent in 50-year-olds, to 2.79 percent in 80-year-olds, to 10.49 percent in 90-year-olds. In Ontario, physicians who specialize in eye diseases use optical coherence tomography (OCT) regularly to find out whether patients have age-related macular degeneration.

Health Quality Ontario Reviews Optical Coherence Tomography

Optical coherence tomography is a light-based imaging technique that lets physicians see the retina and evaluate how the disease changes or responds to treatment over time. Optical coherence tomography has been key to monitoring age-related macular degeneration and other retinal disorders. It is fast and gives clear pictures of the macula, even when eye is moving. Optical coherence tomography also gives information about blood vessels forming in the eye and on how thick the whole retina has grown.

Optical Coherence Tomography Monitoring Strategies for A-VEGF–Treated Age-Related Macular Degeneration: An Evidence-Based Analysis
August 2014 (PDF)

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The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has accepted this recommendation.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided the following response: This procedure is now an insured service.

Health Technology Assessment at Health Quality Ontario

As part of our core function to promote health care supported by the best available evidence, we use established scientific methods to analyze the evidence for a wide range of health interventions, including diagnostic tests, medical devices, interventional and surgical procedures, health care programs and models of care. These analyses are informed by input from a range of individuals, including patients and clinical experts. The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee — a committee of the Health Quality Ontario board of directors — reviews the evidence and makes recommendations about whether health care interventions should be publicly funded or not. Draft recommendations are posted on the Health Quality Ontario website for feedback. Final recommendations are approved by our board of directors and then shared with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. For more detailed information, visit our Evidence to Improve Care pages.


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