Chronic choriocapillaris ischemia in dilated vortex vein region in pachychoroid neovasculopathy

Sci Rep. 2021 Aug 11;11(1):16274. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-95904-9.


We evaluated choroidal congestion using multimodal imaging in pachychoroid neovasculopathy (PNV). In a retrospective case series of 100 eyes of 99 treatment-naïve PNV patients, their clinical records were reviewed and the corresponding multimodal imaging studies were analyzed. We assessed areas of choriocapillaris filling delay which overlapped with dilated outer choroidal vessels, choroidal neovascularization (CNV), and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) atrophy. The study subjects were 78 men (78.8%) and 21 women (21.2%). The mean patient age was 67.5 ± 10.5 years. On indocyanine green angiography, all eyes showed choriocapillaris filling delay in the early phase. Dilated outer choroidal vessels were demonstrated in all eyes by en face optical coherence tomography. The areas of choriocapillaris filling delay overlapped extensively with that of dilated outer choroidal vessels. All eyes showed CNV localized within the sites of choriocapillaris filling delay. RPE atrophy was noted in 71 eyes (71.0%), and 68 of these (95.8%) had RPE atrophy within the areas showing choriocapillaris filling delay. These findings indicate that chronic choriocapillaris ischemia secondary to vortex vein congestion may lead to CNV development as well as RPE atrophy in eyes with PNV.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Atrophy / etiology
  • Choroid / blood supply*
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / etiology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Dilatation, Pathologic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / diagnostic imaging
  • Ischemia / etiology
  • Ischemia / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multimodal Imaging
  • Retinal Pigment Epithelium / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies