Diagnosis and Treatment of Primary Inflammatory Choriocapillaropathies (PICCPs): A Comprehensive Overview

Medicina (Kaunas). 2022 Jan 21;58(2):165. doi: 10.3390/medicina58020165.


Purpose: Primary inflammatory choriocapillaropathies (PICCPs) belong to a group of intraocular inflammatory diseases with the common characteristic of inflammatory choriocapillaris hypo- or non-perfusion as the main clinicopathological mechanism. The purpose of our article is to describe clinical characteristics and multimodal imaging, that can help the diagnosis and treatment of PICCPs.

Methods: Narrative review with multimodal imaging analysis.

Results: Choriocapillaris non-perfusion can affect the end-choriocappilaries, at the benign end of the PICCP spectrum (MEWDS), to larger choriocapillaris vessels or precapillary vessels at the origin of more severe forms such as acute posterior multifocal placoid pigment epitheliopathy (APMPPE), idiopathic multifocal choroiditis (MFC) and Serpiginous Choroiditis (SC). Diagnosis is mostly based on multimodal imaging and especially on indocyanine green angiography (ICGA), fundus autofluorescence (FAF) and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT)/OCT-angiography (OCT-A). ICGA shows the typical pattern of patchy lobular hypofluorescence reflecting hypo- or non-perfusion of the choriocapillaris that can also take the aspect of geographic areas in the more severe forms. Treatment depends on the severity of the disease and goes from observation in MEWDS and some mild cases of APMPPE, to oral corticosteroid and/or immunomodulator agents in the more severe conditions of APMPPE and MFC and SC cases. Close multimodal monitoring is crucial in order to introduce or adjust treatment.

Conclusion: PICCPs are resulting from one common clinicopathological mechanism, inflammatory choriocapillaris hypo- or non-perfusion. ICGA findings are essential for the diagnosis and follow-up of PICCPs, but non-invasive methods such as FAF and SD-OCT/OCT-A also have their role especially in follow-up of the diseases. Treatment should be individualized according to the pathology and the evolution of lesions.

Keywords: APMPPE; FA; ICGA; MEWDS; MFC; OCT-A; PICPPS; SC; SDOCT; non-infectious posterior uveitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Choroid / diagnostic imaging
  • Choroiditis* / diagnosis
  • Choroiditis* / pathology
  • Fluorescein Angiography / methods
  • Humans
  • Multifocal Choroiditis
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods