Massive hemorrhage complicating age-related macular degeneration. Clinicopathologic correlation and role of anticoagulants

Ophthalmology. 1986 Dec;93(12):1581-92. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(86)33540-1.


Reported are 15 cases of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) complicated by massive subretinal and/or vitreous hemorrhage. Clinicopathologic correlation is presented in four of the seven cases studied histopathologically. Salient histologic findings include: subretinal and subretinal pigment epithelium (sub-RPE) fibrovascular scar in the posterior pole; discontinuities in Bruch's membrane with choroidal neovascularization; extensive hemorrhagic detachment of the RPE and sensory retina; and vitreous hemorrhage. In three cases, a choroidal artery, emerging from breaks in Bruch's membrane, had ruptured walls. The authors have reviewed the previously reported cases of AMD complicated by massive hemorrhage and found that 19% of the patients were taking Coumadin (warfarin) or aspirin treatment when the bleeding occurred. Forty percent had a positive history of systemic hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. Although the occurrence of hypertension is expected in the aged population with AMD, use of anticoagulants or antithrombotics by such patients may predispose them to serious ocular hemorrhagic complications.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging*
  • Anticoagulants / adverse effects*
  • Choroid / blood supply
  • Eye Diseases / complications
  • Eye Diseases / pathology
  • Female
  • Hemorrhage / complications*
  • Hemorrhage / pathology
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration / complications*
  • Macular Degeneration / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / complications
  • Retinal Hemorrhage / complications*
  • Retinal Hemorrhage / pathology
  • Vitreous Body*


  • Anticoagulants