Polypoidal Choroidal Vasculopathy: Consensus Nomenclature and Non-Indocyanine Green Angiograph Diagnostic Criteria from the Asia-Pacific Ocular Imaging Society PCV Workgroup

Ophthalmology. 2021 Mar;128(3):443-452. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2020.08.006. Epub 2020 Aug 11.


Purpose: To develop consensus terminology in the setting of polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV) and to develop and validate a set of diagnostic criteria not requiring indocyanine green angiography (ICGA) for differentiating PCV from typical neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) based on a combination of OCT and color fundus photography findings.

Design: Evaluation of diagnostic test results.

Participants: Panel of retina specialists.

Methods: As part of the Asia-Pacific Ocular Imaging Society, an international group of experts surveyed and discussed the published literature regarding the current nomenclature and lesion components for PCV, and proposed an updated consensus nomenclature that reflects our latest understanding based on imaging and histologic reports. The workgroup evaluated a set of diagnostic features based on OCT images and color fundus photographs for PCV that may distinguish it from typical nAMD and assessed the performance of individual and combinations of these non-ICGA features, aiming to propose a new set of diagnostic criteria that does not require the use of ICGA. The final recommendation was validated in 80 eyes from 2 additional cohorts.

Main outcome measures: Consensus nomenclature system for PCV lesion components and non-ICGA-based criteria to differentiate PCV from typical nAMD.

Results: The workgroup recommended the terms polypoidal lesion and branching neovascular network for the 2 key lesion components in PCV. For the diagnosis of PCV, the combination of 3 OCT-based major criteria (sub-retinal pigment epithelium [RPE] ring-like lesion, en face OCT complex RPE elevation, and sharp-peaked PED) achieved an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.90. Validation of this new scheme in a separate subset 80 eyes achieved an accuracy of 82%.

Conclusions: We propose updated terminology for PCV lesion components that better reflects the nature of these lesions and is based on international consensus. A set of practical diagnostic criteria applied easily to spectral-domain OCT results can be used for diagnosing PCV with high accuracy in clinical settings in which ICGA is not performed routinely.

Keywords: Accuracy; Aneurysmal; Angiography; Diagnosis; Differentiation; Imaging; Neovascularization; Noninvasive; OCT; Polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy; Screening; Sensitivity and specificity.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Choroid / blood supply
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / classification*
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / diagnosis*
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / physiopathology
  • Coloring Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indocyanine Green / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Photography / methods
  • Polyps / classification*
  • Polyps / diagnosis*
  • Polyps / physiopathology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence


  • Coloring Agents
  • Indocyanine Green