BackgroundThis study aimed to evaluate the visual and morphological outcomes of intravitreal anti-VEGF therapy and the recurrence for idiopathic choroidal neovascularization (ICNV).MethodsThis retrospective study included 35 patients (35 eyes) with ICNV from July 2012 to October 2017. All patients received 1 intravitreal anti-VEGF injection followed by pro re nata injections until there was no sign of ICNV activity. This was defined as the first follow-up period. To evaluate ICNV recurrence, we continued to follow-up 27 of the 35 patients for at least 2 years after the initial diagnosis, and the longest follow-up period was 5 years. Additional injection was performed when ICNV recurred. Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and central retinal thickness (CRT) were recorded and morphological improvement in optical coherence tomography (OCT) was assessed. Parameters that affect prognosis and recurrence were analysed.ResultsThe mean follow-up period was 168.0 ± 34.82 weeks. Mean BCVA improved from 56.20 ± 14.13 letters at baseline to 73.31 ± 12.57 letters (P<0.01); Mean CRT decreased from 353.6 ± 98.70 μm at baseline to 273.1 ± 53.56 μm (P < 0.001) at the end of the first follow-up period. Better baseline BCVA indicated a better morphological improvement (P = 0.026) in OCT: the lesion had completely subsided with recovery of the foveal contour. Those with high baseline BCVA (more than 60 letters) showed significant resolution of CNV lesions (P = 0.036). ICNV recurred in six patients (22.2%), 1 of whom experienced 2 recurrences. The mean timing of recurrence was 90.83 ± 49.02 weeks after diagnosis. There was no significant correlation between ICNV recurrence and the morphological improvement (P = 0.633). The final BCVA in patients with recurrence did not differ from that in patients without recurrence (P = 0.065).ConclusionsIntravitreal anti-VEGF therapy on a pro re nata basis was effective for treating ICNV. High baseline BCVA indicated a better prognosis. Re-treatment with anti-VEGF could effectively lead to resolution of recurrent ICNV. Disease recurrence had no significant effect on final visual prognosis and had no correlation with the morphological improvement during treatment, suggesting that follow-up for subsequent monitoring should be performed in all ICNV patients.