Polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy in Caucasians

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2000 Sep;238(9):752-9. doi: 10.1007/s004170000180.


Purpose: To study the prevalence of polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV) in Caucasian patients with occult choroidal neovascularization (CNV); to study the clinical spectrum of PCV in Caucasians and the outcome after laser photocoagulation of such lesions.

Methods: (1) A consecutive series of 374 eyes of Caucasian patients at least 58 years old, presenting occult CNV, presumed to have age-related macular degeneration (AMD) on fluorescein angiography (FA) were further characterized by indocyanine green angiography (ICGA) to determine the frequency of PCV. (2) The funduscopic, FA and ICGA findings in a cohort of 36 Caucasian patients with PCV were analyzed. (3) The outcome after laser photocoagulation was studied in 14 PCV eyes with a minimum follow-up of 6 months.

Results: (1) Fourteen of 374 eyes (4%) presenting occult CNV in patients at least 58 years old were diagnosed as PCV by means of ICG-A. (2) A polypoidal lesion was found in the macula in 22 of 45 PCV eyes, in the peripapillary area in 16 of 45, under the temporal vascular arcade in 6 of 45 and in the midperiphery in 6 of 45. Large or soft drusen were observed in 15 of 45 eyes with PCV. (3) Regression of fundus signs without persisting polyps 6 months after laser photocoagulation was obtained in 5 of 5 treated peripapillary lesions but in only 5 of 9 treated macular or arcade lesions.

Conclusion: Polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy is not rare in Caucasian patients presenting with occult choroidal neovascularization. The fundus abnormalities seen in such eyes overlap with the typical manifestations of AMD. Whereas the prognosis after photocoagulation of peripapillary polypoidal lesions appears to be relatively good, it is more guarded for macular or arcade lesions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Belgium / epidemiology
  • Choroid / blood supply*
  • Choroid / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Eye Diseases / diagnosis
  • Eye Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • White People*