Evaluation of focal choroidal excavation in the macula using swept-source optical coherence tomography

Eye (Lond). 2014 Sep;28(9):1088-94. doi: 10.1038/eye.2014.78. Epub 2014 Jun 20.


Purpose: To evaluate imaging findings of patients with focal choroidal excavation (FCE) in the macula using swept-source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) and correlate it clinically.

Methods: Prospective observational case series. Eleven consecutive patients (12 eyes) with FCE were described. Data on demographics and clinical presentation were collected and imaging findings (including color photography, fundus autofluorescence imaging, fluorescein angiography, indocyanine green angiography, spectral-domain optical coherence tomography, and SS-OCT) were analyzed.

Results: The primary diagnosis was epiretinal membrane (two eyes), choroidal neovascularization (one eye), polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (three eyes), central serous chorioretinopathy (one eye), and dry age-related macular degeneration (two eyes). Eleven out of 12 of the lesions were conforming. One presented with a non-conforming lesion that progressed to a conforming lesion. One eye had multiFCE and two had two overlapping choroidal excavations. Using the SS-OCT, we found the choroid to be thinned out at the area of FCE but sclera remained normal. The choroidal tissue beneath the FCE was abnormal, with high internal reflectivity and poor visualization of choroidal vessels. There was loss of contour of the outer choroidal boundary that appeared to be pulled inward by this abnormal choroidal tissue. A suprachoroidal space was noted beneath this choroidal tissue and the choroidal-scleral interface was smooth. Repeat SS-OCT 6 months after presentation showed the area of excavation to be stable in size.

Conclusion: FCE can be associated with epiretinal membrane, central serous chorioretinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration. The choroid was thinned out in the area of FCE.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Central Serous Chorioretinopathy / diagnosis
  • Choroid Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / diagnosis
  • Coloring Agents
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Geographic Atrophy / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Indocyanine Green
  • Macula Lutea*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polyps / diagnosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence*
  • Young Adult


  • Coloring Agents
  • Indocyanine Green