Objective: To describe the vascular nature and clinical features of idiopathic polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy in Japanese patients.
Methods: Patients thought to have idiopathic polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy were examined with binocular ophthalmoscopy, slitlamp biomicroscopy with a contact lens, fluorescein angiography, and indocyanine green angiography.
Results: From January 1993 to December 1997, 35 eyes in 32 patients were diagnosed as having idiopathic polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy. Men were predominantly affected (22 patients [69%]). Most patients were unilaterally involved (29 patients [91%]) and elderly, with a mean age of 65.7 years (range, 44-82 years). Ocular manifestations were relatively mild, with serous or hemorrhagic detachments of the retinal pigment epithelium and neurosensory retina in the posterior pole. Most patients had a favorable course, although some experienced recurrence, and a few eyes developed disciform scarring. In all patients, indocyanine green angiograms demonstrated branching vascular networks with polypoidal dilations at terminals of the network beneath the retinal pigment epithelium. These lesions were mostly in the macula (33 eyes [94%]), with a few in the peripapillary area.
Conclusions: Idiopathic polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy in Japanese patients differs from that in American patients. It seems that this disorder occurs in elderly Japanese patients and should be treated as a distinct clinical entity. It is probably a peculiar form of choroidal neovascularization beneath the retinal pigment epithelium. We propose the term "polypoidal choroidal neovascularization" for this disorder.