Towards a better understanding of non-exudative choroidal and macular neovascularization

Prog Retin Eye Res. 2023 Jan:92:101113. doi: 10.1016/j.preteyeres.2022.101113. Epub 2022 Aug 13.


Non-exudative macular and choroidal neovascularization (MNV and CNV) usually refers to the entity of treatment-naïve type 1 neovascularization in the absence of associated signs of exudation. Histopathological studies, dating back in the early 70s, identified the presence of non-exudative MNV, but the first clinical report of this finding was in the late 90s using indocyanine green angiography in eyes with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). With more advanced retinal imaging, there has been an ever increasing appreciation of non-exudative MNV associated with AMD and CNV with other macular disorders. However, consensus regarding the exact definition and the clinical management of this entity is lacking. Furthermore, there may be variation in the imaging features and clinical course suggesting that a spectrum of disease may exist. Herein, we review the large body of published work that has provided a better understanding of non-exudative MNV and CNV in the last decade. The prevalence, multimodal imaging features, clinical course, and response to treatment are discussed to elucidate further key insights about this entity. Based on these observations, this review also proposes a new theory about the origin and course of different sub-types of non-exudative MNV/CNV which can have different etiologies and pathways according to the clinical context of disease.

Keywords: Age-related macular degeneration; Choroidal neovascularization; Macular neovascularization; Non-exudative; Pachychoroid neovasculopathy; Quiescent; Subclinical.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Choroid / pathology
  • Choroidal Neovascularization* / diagnosis
  • Disease Progression
  • Fluorescein Angiography / methods
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration* / pathology
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods