Transpupillary thermotherapy (TTT) is a technique in which low-level heat is delivered through the pupil to the choroid and retinal pigment epithelium using a modified diode laser. TTT is being evaluated as a treatment for several ophthalmologic conditions. Some of these conditions include retinoblastoma, choroidal melanoma, classic and occult choroidal neovascularization, which is a common cause of adult onset blindness or age-related macular degeneration.
This laser technique contrasts with the laser used in standard photocoagulation therapy, in that TTT uses a lower power laser for more prolonged periods of time and is designed to gently heat the choroidal lesion, thus limiting damage to the overlying retinal pigment epithelium.
Transpupillary thermotherapy for the treatment of all ophthalmologic conditions is considered investigational.
Any specific products referenced in this policy are just examples and are intended for illustrative purposes only. It is not intended to be a recommendation of one product over another, and is not intended to represent a complete listing of all products available. These examples are contained in the parenthetical e.g. statement.
We develop Medical Policies to provide guidance to Members and Providers. This Medical Policy relates only to the services or supplies described in it. The existence of a Medical Policy is not an authorization, certification, explanation of benefits or a contract for the service (or supply) that is referenced in the Medical Policy. For a determination of the benefits that a Member is entitled to receive under his or her health plan, the Member's health plan must be reviewed. If there is a conflict between the Medical Policy and a health plan, the express terms of the health plan will govern.
Evidence remains insufficient to determine whether transpupillary thermotherapy is as beneficial as the established alternatives. Well-designed studies are needed to validate safety and efficacy.
American Academy of Ophthalmology (2015) Preferred practice pattern: age-related macular degeneration. Retrieved October 5, 2017 from www.aao.org/ppp.
Anantharaman, G., Ramkumar, G., Gopalakrishnan, M., & Rajput, A. (2010). Clinical features, management and visual outcome of polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy in Indian patients. Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, 58 (5), 399-405. (Level 4 evidence)
Cennamo, G., Breve, M., Rossi, C., Romano, M., Crecchio, G., and Cennamo, G. (2016) Transpupillary thermotherapy as a primary treatment for circumscribed choroidal haemangioma. Acta Ophyhalmologica, e167-e169. (Level 4 evidence)
Giudice, G., de Belvis, V., Tavolato, M., Galan, A. (2011). Large-spot subthreshold transpupillary thermotherapy for chronic serous macular detachment. Clinical Ophthalmology, 2011 (5), 355-360. (Level 4 evidence)
Gündüz, K., Karslioğlu, M. Z., & Köse, K. (2011). Primary transpupillary thermotherapy of choroidal melanocytic lesions. Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology, 18 (2), 183-188. (Level 4 evidence)
Hasanreisoglu, M., Saktanasate, J., Schwendeman, R., Shields, J. A., & Shields, C. L. (2015). Indocyanine green-enhanced transpupillary thermotherapy for retinoblastoma: analysis of 42 tumors. Journal of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, 52 (6), 348-354. Abstract retrieved November 23, 2016 from PubMed database.
Lin, C. J., & Tsai, Y. Y. (2015). The effect of intravitreal bevacizamab and transpupillary thermotherapy on choroidal metastases and literature review. Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, 63 (1), 37-41. (Level 4 evidence)
Mashayekhi, A., Shields, C. L., Rishi, P., Atalay, H. T., Pellegrini, M., McLaughlin, J. P., et al. (2015). Primary transpupillary thermotherapy for choroidal melanoma in 391 cases: importance of risk factors in tumor control. Ophthalmology, 122 (3), 600-609. Abstract retrieved November 23, 2016 from PubMed database.
National Institute for Clinical Excellence. (2004) Transpupillary thermotherapy for age-related macular degeneration. Retrieved May 14, 2009 from: http://www.nice.org.uk.
Nowak, M., Jurowski, P., Grzybowski, A., Goś, R., Pastuszka, M., Kapica, A., et al. (2012, June) A prospective study on different methods for the treatment of choroidal neovascularization. The efficacy of verteporfin photodynamic therapy, intravitreal bevacizumab and transpupillary thermotherapy in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Medical Science Monitor, 2012; 18(6), CR374-380. (Level 2 evidence)
Shah, P., Narendran, V., & Kalpana, N. (2011). Large spot transpupillary thermotherapy: A quicker laser for treatment of high risk prethreshold retinopathy of prematurity - a randomized study. Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, 59 (2), 155-158. (Level 2 evidence)
Turcotte, S., Bergeron, D., Rousseau, A., and Mouriaux, F. (2014, October) Primary transpupillary thermotherapy for choroidal indeterminate melanocytic lesions. Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology, 49 (5), 464-7. Abstract retrieved October 5, 2017 from PubMed database.
ORIGINAL EFFECTIVE DATE: 5/1/2002
MOST RECENT REVIEW DATE: 11/9/2017
Policies included in the Medical Policy Manual are not intended to certify coverage availability. They are medical determinations about a particular technology, service, drug, etc. While a policy or technology may be medically necessary, it could be excluded in a member's benefit plan. Please check with the appropriate claims department to determine if the service in question is a covered service under a particular benefit plan. Use of the Medical Policy Manual is not intended to replace independent medical judgment for treatment of individuals. The content on this Web site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice in any way. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider if you have questions regarding a medical condition or treatment.
This document has been classified as public information.