Drs. Kokame and Lai attend the Retina Society Meeting in Beverly Hills, California – September 26-29, 2013

The Retina Society held its 46th Annual Meeting in Beverly Hills, California from September 26 – 29, 2013, highlighting new advances in treatment for macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and inflammatory retinal diseases, while providing advances in diagnostic techniques for retinal diseases.


Dr. James Lai presented a case of intraocular lymphoma with classic subretinal deposits of lymphoma cells, presenting with multifocal white dots in the retina.  Treatment involved initially intravitreal methotrexate in both eyes with a marked response, and then systemic chemotherapy.

Dr. Gregg Kokame presented the complete 6 month results of monthly high dose ranibizumab therapy for leaking and bleeding complications of polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV) (see picture).  High dose ranibizumab was effective at decreasing leaking and bleeding from PCV with improvement in vision,that was comparable to regular dose ranibizumab.  However, there was a trend towards greater anatomic polyp closure with high dose ranibizumab.


Dr. Gregg Kokame was the Presiding Officer (see photo) for an important session on macular degeneration therapy, which included the new results of the study on vitamin supplementation for dry age related macular degeneration, (AREDS2) presented by Dr. Emily Chew of the National Eye Institute.  This study showed that vitamin supplementation was again helpful at decreasing progression in macular degeneration, and that it is reasonable to exclude beta-carotene from the supplement.  Lutein and zeaxanthin are reasonable carotenoid supplements to include instead of beta-carotene, as beta-carotene has been shown to increase the risk of lung cancer.  Lutein and zeaxanthin, which are usually present in green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale, may be especially important in patients whose normal diet is low in green vegetables.  Retina Consultants of Hawaii doctors have been recommending this new formulation for many years for our patients with dry macular degeneration in anticipation of these results.


Diagnostic testing is becoming more powerful in the imaging of retinal diseases.  Retina Consultants of Hawaii has already incorporated 2 new modalities recently discussed at the Retina Society meeting.  One is the use of a wide angle lens for imaging during angiography providing a wide-field view of the retina.  The other is the newest version of optical coherence tomography or the retinal imaging providing cross-sectional views of the retina for diagnosis and treatment.