Background: Informations are expected from the histopathological study of surgically excised choroidal neovascular membranes (CNMs), particularly in relation to the angiographic aspects of vascular architecture.
Methods: Fluorescein and indocyanine green (ICG) angiograms were studied together with the histopathological features of 12 surgically excised subfoveal CNMs in eyes affected by age-related macular degeneration (ARMD).
Results: Instead of the early and delayed diffuse hyperfluorescence secondary to CNMs observed on fluorescein angiography (seven were well defined, five scar evolved), ICG revealed (a) very early hypofluorescence of the membrane bulk over the fluorescence of the outer choroidal vascular bed and (b) late hyperfluorescence gradually increasing and partially defining the border of membranes. CNMs with well-defined hyperfluorescent aspects were characterized by fibrovascular bulk lined on one side by retinal pigment epithelium. Fibrosis reaction predominated over the vascular components in scar-evolved membranes.
Conclusions: Fluorescein and ICG angiographic differences in the appearance of CNMs could depend on (a) the morphological structure and size of the CNM (b) its location within the chorioretinal layers and (c) different molecular characteristics of the dyes used.