Purpose: To describe a previously unreported clinical entity of progressive extensive macular atrophy and pseudodrusen-like appearance in middle-aged patients.
Design: Clinical, electrophysiologic, and molecular retrospective study.
Methods: The database of an outpatient clinic unit for genetic sensory diseases was screened for patients older than 40 years with uncharacterized macular dystrophy. Patients with extensive macular atrophy and pseudodrusen-like appearance were included.
Results: Eighteen patients of 45 records (40%) matched the inclusion criteria. Bilateral polycyclic well-delineated chorioretinal atrophy extending to the temporal vascular arcades, with a larger vertical axis and without sparing of the fovea featured the macular lesion. The pseudodrusen-like appearance was widespread throughout the posterior pole and the peripheral retina. In the extreme periphery, paving stone lesions were located mostly in the inferior quadrants. In contrast to age-related macular degeneration, a rapid progression of the atrophy was observed with an early involvement of the foveal zone, thus leading to a severe visual loss. All the patients except 2 were legally blind at the end of the follow-up. Unlike age-related macular degeneration, in none of these patients did choroidal neovascularization develop. In all patients, the scotopic and photopic electroretinography responses were reduced.
Conclusions: Extensive macular atrophy with pseudodrusen should be considered as a possible pattern of severe macular dystrophy occurring in the middle-aged adult.