Combined subretinal and sub-retinal pigment epithelium neovascular membranes in age-related macular degeneration: a clinicopathologic study of six cases

Ophthalmic Surg Lasers. 1997 Aug;28(8):645-52.


Background and objective: Subfoveal neovascular membranes are usually located either in the subsensory retinal space or below the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). This article describes the clinical and histopathologic features of subfoveal membranes with both subretinal and sub-RPE components (combined membranes).

Patients and methods: Six surgically excised subfoveal neovascular membranes from six patients were examined histopathologically. Preoperative and postoperative clinical information was obtained from each patient.

Results: Clinically, the combined membranes had no special characteristic features. The most common fluorescein angiographic finding postoperatively was a window defect of the RPE. Visual acuity improved in three patients and became worse in the other three patients.

Conclusions: All patients with combined subfoveal neovascular membranes had age-related macular degeneration. In this disease, a single subfoveal membrane may extend into both the subretinal and the sub-RPE spaces. Patients may benefit from surgical removal of the membrane.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Basement Membrane / pathology
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Fovea Centralis / pathology
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration / complications*
  • Male
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / pathology*
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / surgery
  • Retinal Neovascularization / pathology*
  • Retinal Neovascularization / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies