Pathologic features of surgically excised subretinal neovascular membranes in age-related macular degeneration

Am J Ophthalmol. 1991 Dec 15;112(6):647-56. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(14)77270-8.


The histopathologic features of ten consecutive surgically excised subfoveal neovascular membranes from patients with age-related macular degeneration were examined. Ultrastructural features included the following in decreasing order of frequency: endothelium-lined vascular channels, new collagen, fibrocytes, retinal pigment epithelium, erythrocytes, and myofibroblasts. Chronic inflammatory cells were frequently evident and included macrophages, lymphocytes, and plasma cells. Basal laminar deposit or diffuse drusen were observed in six of the membranes. Photoreceptors and Bruch's membrane were each observed in three of the specimens, but were not associated with decreased postoperative visual acuity. Fibrin was observed in eight membranes, either within the stroma of the membrane or in association with subretinal hemorrhage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Collagen / ultrastructure
  • Endothelium, Vascular / ultrastructure*
  • Fibrin / ultrastructure
  • Fibroblasts / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / ultrastructure
  • Macular Degeneration / complications*
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / ultrastructure
  • Retinal Neovascularization / etiology
  • Retinal Neovascularization / pathology*
  • Retinal Neovascularization / surgery


  • Fibrin
  • Collagen