Retinal and choroidal hyperreflective foci on spectral-domain optical coherence tomographic images in a patient with retinitis pigmentosa accompanied by diabetic retinopathy

Am J Ophthalmol Case Rep. 2016 Apr 12;3:25-30. doi: 10.1016/j.ajoc.2016.04.002. eCollection 2016 Oct.


Purpose: To report the detailed macular morphology documented by spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) in a patient with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and diabetic retinopathy (DR).

Observations: A 54-year-old man with a hemoglobin A1c level of 11.4% was referred for decreased visual acuity (VA) bilaterally (right eye, 20/100; left eye, 20/40). Funduscopy showed typical retinal findings of RP bilaterally. The macular area of both fundi showed retinal dot-and-blot hemorrhages, hard exudates. Time-domain OCT revealed macular edema in the right eye. The patient was diagnosed with RP accompanied by DR bilaterally. Five years after the first visit, the BCVAs remained 20/100 in the right eye and 20/40 in the left eye. SD-OCT showed that the retinas were thinner temporal to the maculas. The external limiting membrane line (ELM) and the ellipsoid zone of the photoreceptors line (EZ) was not visible in the foveal region in the right eye and temporal to the macula in both eyes. The image revealed the characteristic intraretinal and intrachoroidal hyrerreflective foci, the number of which increased corresponding to the extent of the disappearance of the ELM and EZ line with thinning of the outer nuclear layer (ONL). In addition, the image also showed a great number of the hyperreflective foci in the ONL and the choriocapillaris in the foveal region in the right eye compared with the left eye.

Conclusions: In the current case, the SD-OCT findings suggested that the characteristic hyrerreflective foci clinically observed in the fundi of a patient with RP accompanied by DR are present in the retinal layers and the choroid. In addition, the foci in the retinal and choroidal layers in the foveal region may increase as vision declines corresponding to the disappearance of the ELM and EZ line.

Keywords: Choroidal hyrerreflective foci; Diabetic retinopathy; Retinal hyrerreflective foci; Retinitis pigmentosa; Spectral-domain optical coherence tomography.

Publication types

  • Case Reports