Purpose: To review the role of ocular perfusion in the pathophysiology of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the industrialized world.
Methods: Medline search of the literature published in English or with English abstracts from 1966 to 2000 was performed using various combinations of relevant key words.
Results: Vascular defects have been identified in both nonexudative and exudative AMD patients using fluorescein angiographic methods, laser Doppler flowmetry, indocyanine green angiography, and color Doppler imaging.
Conclusion: Although these studies lend some support to the vascular pathogenesis of AMD, it is not possible to determine if the choroidal perfusion abnormalities play a causative role in nonexudative AMD, if they are simply an association with another primary alteration, such as a primary RPE defect or a genetic defect at the photoreceptor level, or if they are more strongly associated with one particular form of this heterogeneous disease. Further study is warranted.