Purpose: To report the visual outcome of surgical treatment of submacular hemorrhage associated with idiopathic polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy.
Methods: Eight eyes of eight consecutive patients with thick submacular hemorrhages associated with idiopathic polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy were treated with pars plana vitrectomy and tissue plasminogen activator-assisted removal of subretinal blood (December 1995 to September 1997) or intravitreal 100% sulfur hexafluoride gas injection without tissue plasminogen activator (October 1997 to March 1998).
Results: Postoperatively, laser treatment was performed for active polypoidal lesions outside the foveal avascular zone in four eyes. A retinal pigment epithelial tear was seen outside the foveal avascular zone in three eyes, and one eye developed a retinal detachment. The best-corrected visual acuity improved (by 3 or more lines) or stabilized in seven of the eight eyes. Four eyes had a final best-corrected visual acuity of 20/40 or better, and three eyes had a final best-corrected visual acuity of 20/50 to 20/200. In one eye, the visual acuity decreased from 20/100 to 20/500 because of the development of a subfoveal neovascular membrane. The membrane was excised, and histologic examination showed fibrovascular tissue between the retina and retinal pigment epithelium (type 2 pattern).
Conclusions: Surgical intervention may be of benefit in eyes with submacular hemorrhage associated with idiopathic polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy.