Polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy pattern in age-related macular degeneration: a clinicopathologic correlation

Retina. 2000;20(6):650-4. doi: 10.1097/00006982-200011000-00010.


Purpose: To report the histopathologic features of surgically removed submacular tissue from an elderly patient with a pattern of polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy on indocyanine green angiography.

Methods: Clinical examination including fluorescein and indocyanine green angiography and light microscopy of surgical specimen.

Results: A thick yellow proteinaceous subretinal fluid was seen in the right macula of an 81-year-old white man. Fluorescein angiography indicated progressive leakage from undetermined source apart from a few focal hyperfluorescent points. Indocyanine green angiography showed several polyps as well as dilated choroidal vessels in the macula and along the superior temporal arcade. A large plaque was visualized in the late phase. Microscopically, the specimen consisted of a thick fibrovascular membrane located on the choroidal side of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). The RPE layer was discontinuous whereas on its choroidal side an almost intact layer of diffuse drusen was observed. A group of dilated thin-walled vessels were found that appeared to be saccular on serial sections. Some of these were located almost immediately under the diffuse drusen.

Conclusion: Histologic examination of submacular tissue removed from an eye with polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy showed several aneurysmal dilatations located directly under diffuse drusen within a sub-RPE, intra-Bruch's fibrovascular membrane.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Capillary Permeability
  • Choroid / blood supply*
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / complications
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / pathology*
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / surgery
  • Fibrosis / pathology
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Indocyanine Green
  • Macular Degeneration / complications
  • Macular Degeneration / pathology*
  • Male
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / pathology


  • Indocyanine Green