Macular Functional and Morphological Changes in Intermediate Age-Related Maculopathy

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2020 May 11;61(5):11. doi: 10.1167/iovs.61.5.11.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate macular preganglionic function and to verify its relationship with retinal and choroidal morphology in patients with intermediate age-related macular degeneration (iAMD) patients.

Methods: All included patients performed multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG) for investigating on macular function from the central 15° of foveal eccentricity, spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) for studying retinal structure, enhanced depth imaging OCT (EDI-OCT) for the measure of choroidal vascularity index (CVI), and OCT-angiography (OCTA) for the evaluation of vessel density (VD) in the superficial and deep capillary plexus, and choriocapillaris (CC) layer.

Results: Twenty-seven patients with iAMD and 20 age-matched control eyes were analyzed. Significantly (P < 0.01) delayed and reduced mfERG responses in the central 0 to 2.5°, paracentral 2.5 to 5°, and overall 0 to 5° areas, as well as increased CVI values in both foveal (1 mm centered to the fovea) and fovea + parafovea areas (3 mm centered to the fovea), increased foveal and parafoveal (annular area of 1-3 mm centered to the fovea) retinal pigment epithelium thickness, and volume and parafoveal outer retinal volume were found in iAMD eyes as compared to controls. Moreover, iAMD eyes showed significantly (P < 0.01) reduced foveal and parafoveal OCTA-VD values in the CC layer when compared to controls. In the iAMD group, not significant (P > 0.01) correlations were found between morphological and functional parameters.

Conclusions: Our findings support a dysfunction of photoreceptors and bipolar cells in both foveal and parafoveal areas in the presence of outer retina, CC, and choroidal structural changes, however, not significantly correlated. The observed enlargement of luminal choroidal area (measured by CVI) is possibly compensatory to CC vascular insufficiency.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Choroid / blood supply*
  • Choroid / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Electroretinography
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration*
  • Male
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Vertebrate / pathology
  • Retina / diagnostic imaging*
  • Retinal Pigment Epithelium / diagnostic imaging
  • Retinal Vessels / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence