Spectrum of Retinal Vascular Diseases Associated With Paracentral Acute Middle Maculopathy

Am J Ophthalmol. 2015 Jul;160(1):26-34.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2015.04.004. Epub 2015 Apr 4.


Purpose: To evaluate the spectrum of retinal diseases that can demonstrate paracentral acute middle maculopathy and isolated ischemia of the intermediate and deep capillary plexus.

Design: Retrospective, multicenter, observational case series.

Methods: This is a retrospective case series review of 9 patients (10 eyes) from 5 centers with paracentral acute middle maculopathy lesions and previously unreported retinal vascular etiologies. Case presentations and multimodal imaging, including color photographs, near-infrared reflectance, fluorescein angiography, spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD OCT), and orbital color Doppler imaging, are described. Baseline and follow-up findings are correlated with clinical presentation, demographics, and systemic associations.

Results: Five men and 4 women, aged 27-66 years, were included. Isolated band-like hyperreflective lesions in the middle retinal layers, otherwise known as paracentral acute middle maculopathy, were observed in all patients at baseline presentation. Follow-up SD OCT analysis of these paracentral acute middle maculopathy lesions demonstrated subsequent thinning of the inner nuclear layer. Novel retinal vascular associations leading to retinal vasculopathy and paracentral acute middle maculopathy include eye compression injury causing global ocular ischemia, sickle cell crisis, Purtscher's retinopathy, inflammatory occlusive retinal vasculitis, post-H1N1 vaccine, hypertensive retinopathy, migraine disorder, and post-upper respiratory infection.

Conclusion: Paracentral acute middle maculopathy lesions may develop in a wide spectrum of retinal vascular diseases. They are best identified with SD OCT analysis and may represent ischemia of the intermediate and deep capillary plexus. These lesions typically result in permanent thinning of the inner nuclear layer and are critical to identify in order to determine the cause of unexplained vision loss.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Capillaries
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / diagnosis*
  • Ischemia / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retinal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Retinal Diseases / etiology
  • Retinal Neurons / pathology*
  • Retinal Vessels / pathology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Color
  • Visual Acuity / physiology