Acute macular neuroretinopathy: pathogenetic insights from optical coherence tomography angiography

Br J Ophthalmol. 2019 Mar;103(3):410-414. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2018-312197. Epub 2018 May 29.


Aim: To describe the optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A) features of patients affected by acute macular neuroretinopathy (AMN).

Methods: This is a prospective, observational, cross-sectional study. Multimodal imaging, including spectral domain OCT (Spectralis HRA+OCT; Heidelberg Engineering, Heidelberg, Germany) and 6×6 mm swept source OCT-A (ZEISS PLEX Elite 9000; ZEISS, Dublin, California), was performed on all patients. The primary outcome measure was assessment of the vascular alterations of the superficial (SCP) and deep (DCP) capillary plexuses and choriocapillaris (CC). A segmentation of the AMN lesions using enface OCT images of photoreceptors-retinal pigment epithelium complex was used to discriminate intralesional and extralesional regions on the OCT-A enface slabs of the DCP and CC reconstructions. Each OCT-A slab was imported into ImageJ V.1.50 and digitally binarised for quantitative analyses.

Results: Overall, seven patients (mean age 19.4±3.2 years, six women) affected by AMN were included. The mean best-corrected visual acuity was 0.00±0.00 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution. Twelve healthy age-matched subjects (mean age 22±3.4 years, 10 women) represented the control group. The quantitative analysis of global vessel densities showed that the CC vessel density was significantly lower in patients with AMN (0.495±0.03) compared with the age-matched controls (0.545±0.02) (corrected p=0.0003). The intralesional vessel density of the DCP was 0.349±0.04 in AMN and vs 0.497±0.02 in the controls (corrected p=0.0002).

Conclusions: Our study confirmed inner choroidal vascular flow void as a possible pathogenetic mechanism of AMN. We also found a focal impairment of the DCP within the AMN lesions. Future studies are needed to clarify which is the primary location of the vascular insult in this condition.

Keywords: acute macular neuroretinopathy; en-face optical coherence tomography; near-infrared reflectance imaging; optical coherence tomography angiography..

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Choroid / blood supply*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multimodal Imaging
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retinal Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Retinal Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Retinal Neurons / pathology*
  • Retinal Vessels / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods*
  • Young Adult