Intrachoroidal cavitation in macular area of eyes with pathologic myopia

Am J Ophthalmol. 2012 Aug;154(2):382-93. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2012.02.010. Epub 2012 Apr 27.


Purpose: To determine the incidence and characteristics of intrachoroidal cavitations in the macular area of eyes with high myopia.

Design: Prospective, noninterventional case series.

Methods: We evaluated 56 eyes of 44 patients with pathologic myopia (myopic spherical equivalent >8 diopters) and with patchy chorioretinal atrophy using a swept-source optical coherence tomographic (OCT) system with a center wavelength of 1050 nm. We focused on the changes in the scleral curvature in the area of patchy atrophy. The relationship of the macular intrachoroidal cavitation and retinoschisis was also analyzed. Sixty-eight consecutive patients with pathologic myopia but without patchy atrophy were analyzed as controls.

Results: In 31 of 56 eyes (55.4%) with patchy atrophy, the swept-source OCT images showed that the sclera was bowed posteriorly in and around the patchy atrophy compared to neighboring sclera, whereas none of the 68 patients without patchy atrophy showed this finding. Macular intrachoroidal cavitation had OCT features similar to peripapillary intrachoroidal cavitation; the choroid in the macular intrachoroidal cavitation area appeared thickened and the retina was caved into the cavitation. There was a direct communication between the vitreous and intrachoroidal cavitation in 3 eyes. Retinoschisis was observed significantly more frequently in or around the patchy atrophy in eyes with macular intrachoroidal cavitation than in those without cavitation.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that patchy atrophy affects the scleral contour within posterior staphyloma beyond the funduscopically identified patchy atrophy by macular intrachoroidal cavitation. Such deformation of sclera may facilitate the development of retinoschisis in and around the patchy atrophy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Choroid Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Coloring Agents
  • Corneal Dystrophies, Hereditary / diagnosis*
  • Dilatation, Pathologic
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Indocyanine Green
  • Macula Lutea / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myopia, Degenerative / diagnosis*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sclera / pathology*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Young Adult


  • Coloring Agents
  • Indocyanine Green

Supplementary concepts

  • Chorioretinal atrophy, progressive bifocal