Aetiology and management of choroidal folds

Clin Exp Optom. Sep-Oct 1999;82(5):169-176. doi: 10.1111/j.1444-0938.1999.tb06638.x.


Choroidal folds are known to be associated with a wide variety of pathological conditions, such as central serous retinopathy, choroidal naevi, tumours and papilloedema. They may also occur with surgical procedures, especially when hypotony of the globe occurs, such as following cataract surgery, laser therapy and from post-operative choroidal oedema or inflammation. However, choroidal folds are idiopathic in the majority of cases and can be associated with benign conditions, such as hypermetropia and optic disc drusen. Numerous patterns and orientations of choroidal folds are possible, with some authors suggesting that typical presentations are associated with particular pathological conditions. They may be seen as dark and light streaks on ophthalmoscopy (often more defined with red-free viewing) but are more apparent and differentiated from retinal folds by fluorescein angiography. The aetiology of choroidal folds appears to be linked to a combination of an anatomical attachment of Bruch's membrane to the underlying choriocapillaris and congestion of the choriocapillaris. This paper reviews aspects of the differential diagnosis of choroidal folds with guidelines for optometric management. Several case reports are presented to demonstrate some of the clinical features of choroidal folds.