Increased macular choroidal blood flow velocity during systemic corticosteroid therapy in a patient with acute macular neuroretinopathy

Clin Ophthalmol. 2012;6:1645-9. doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S35854. Epub 2012 Oct 9.


Purpose: The precise mechanism causing outer retinal damage in acute macular neuroretinopathy (AMN) remains unclear. In this study, choroidal blood flow velocity was quantitatively evaluated using laser speckle flowgraphy (LSFG) in a patient with AMN who received systemic corticosteroid therapy.

Methods: Corticosteroids were systemically administrated across 4 months for an AMN patient. LSFG measurements were taken ten consecutive times before treatment and at 1 week and 1, 3, and 10 months after the onset of therapy. The square blur rate, a quantitative index of relative blood flow velocity, was calculated using LSFG in three regions: Square 1, the macular lesion with findings of severe multifocal electroretinography amplitude reduction, and Squares 2 and 3, funduscopically normal-appearing retinal areas with findings of moderate and mild multifocal electroretinography amplitude reduction, respectively.

Results: The AMN lesion gradually decreased after treatment and improved results were detected on the Amsler chart, as well as on optical coherence tomography and scanning laser ophthalmoscopy. When the changing rates of the macular flow were compared with the mean square blur rate level before treatment (100%), 14.6%, 24.5%, 12.9%, and 16.3% increases were detected in Square 1 (macular lesion) at 1 week and 1, 3, and 10 months after treatment, respectively. Similarly, in Square 2 (normal-appearing area next to the lesion), 12.6%, 18.6%, 6.7%, and 8.3% increases were also noted at 1 week and 1, 3, and 10 months after treatment, respectively. In Square 3 (normal-appearing area apart from the lesion), 16.0%, 15.1%, 19.1%, and 3.8% increases were measured at 1 week and 1, 3, and 10 months after treatment, respectively.

Conclusion: In a patient with AMN, choroidal blood flow velocity at the lesion site, which was examined with LSFG, sequentially increased during systemic corticosteroid therapy, together with improvement of visual function. The present findings suggest that choroidal circulation impairment relates to the pathogenesis of AMN, extending over a wider area in the posterior pole than the site of an AMN lesion per se.

Keywords: choroidal circulation; laser speckle flowgraphy; multifocal electroretinography; square blur rate.