Choroidal neovascularization associated with focal choroidal excavation

Am J Ophthalmol. 2014 Mar;157(3):710-8.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2013.12.011. Epub 2013 Dec 15.


Purpose: To describe the clinical and imaging characteristics of choroidal neovascularization (CNV) accompanied by focal choroidal excavation.

Design: Retrospective, interventional case series.

Methods: The medical records of 16 patients (16 eyes) were reviewed. Imaging findings including fluorescein angiography (FA), indocyanine green angiography, and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD OCT) were analyzed.

Results: CNV complexes were primarily located beneath the retinal pigment epithelium (type 1 CNV) in 9 eyes and in the subneurosensory retinal space (type 2 CNV) in 7 eyes, as assessed by SD OCT. Seven of 8 patients over 50 years old had type 1 CNV, and 6 of 8 patients under 50 had type 2 lesions. All 7 eyes with type 2 CNV exhibited classic CNV on FA. Additionally, 7 of 9 eyes with type 1 CNV had the classic pattern, and in these eyes, the CNV complexes were confined to the concavity of choroidal excavation. In 15 patients treated by anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) injections, the mean best-corrected visual acuity improved from 20/44 to 20/26 with a mean of 3.7 injections during a mean follow-up period of 14.5 months.

Conclusions: The CNV growth pattern and extent seem to be determined by the degree of damage to the retinal pigment epithelium/Bruch membrane complex resulting from choroidal excavation, as well as age. Neovascular complexes tend to be located within the boundary of choroidal excavation and are revealed as classic patterns on FA, even in type 1 CNV. Anti-VEGF was notably effective for treating these lesions, with a low rate of recurrence.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use
  • Bevacizumab
  • Choroid / pathology*
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / diagnosis*
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / drug therapy
  • Coloring Agents
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Humans
  • Indocyanine Green
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ranibizumab
  • Retinal Pigment Epithelium / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Visual Acuity / physiology


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Coloring Agents
  • VEGFA protein, human
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Bevacizumab
  • Indocyanine Green
  • Ranibizumab