Visual acuity outcomes of patients 50 years of age and older with high myopia and untreated choroidal neovascularization

Ophthalmology. 1999 Nov;106(11):2063-7. doi: 10.1016/S0161-6420(99)90484-0.


Objective: To evaluate visual outcomes of untreated submacular choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in patients 50 years of age and older with high myopia.

Design: Retrospective observational case series.

Participants: Twenty-two eyes in 22 patients were studied. All were 50 years of age and older with myopia of 6.0 diopters (D) or greater or an axial length of 25.5 mm or greater. Patients had untreated CNV documented by clinical examination and fluorescein angiography at two medical centers between 1986 and 1997.

Intervention: Demographic and clinical data were abstracted from patients' medical records.

Main outcome measure: Visual acuity at 1 year after CNV diagnosis.

Results: The study included 22 eyes of 22 patients (mean age, 63.1 years; mean refraction, -11.0 D). Baseline visual acuity (VA) in the study eye was 20/40 or greater in 2 (9%) patients, 20/50 to 20/150 in 9 (41%) patients, and 20/200 or less in 11 (50%) patients. Drusen were present in seven (32%) eyes, and lacquer cracks were noted in ten (45%) eyes. Mean refractive error was -7.0 D for patients with drusen and -12.5 D for patients without drusen. Choroidal neovascularization was less than 0.25 disc diameters (DD) in 11 (50%) eyes, 0.25 to 0.5 DD in 5 (23%) eyes, and greater than 0.5 DD in 6 (27%) eyes. Visual acuity in the study eye 1 year after CNV diagnosis was 20/40 or greater in 3 (14%) patients, 20/50 to 20/150 in 3 (14%) patients, and 20/200 or less in 16 (73%) eyes. The presence of drusen was significantly associated with older age and a lower degree of myopia but was not associated with size of the CNV or visual acuity outcome.

Conclusion: When compared to patients younger than 50 years of age with high myopia and CNV reported in previous publications, the patients in the current series generally have poorer visual outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / complications*
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / pathology
  • Female
  • Fibrosis
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myopia / complications*
  • Myopia / pathology
  • Retinal Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Visual Acuity*