Purpose: To describe the clinical and angiographic features of patients with polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy, exudative detachment of the macula, and an associated retinal microangiopathy.
Methods: Case series.
Results: Four patients with chronic exudative detachment of the macula with a variable degree of lipid deposition are described. The retina in the detached area, but not beyond, was noted to have a microangiopathy. There was capillary telangiectasia, microaneurysm formation, patchy nonperfusion, and intraretinal leakage. In each patient, there were no other retinal vascular changes in the fundus of either eye. The fluorescein angiogram showed subretinal leakage suspicious for occult choroidal neovascularization. The indocyanine green angiogram showed the presence of underlying polypoidal choroidal neovascularization, accounting for the exudative detachment. After photocoagulation, the retinal angiopathy improved, but not completely.
Conclusion: Retinal microangiopathy may occur in a chronic macular detachment secondary to polypoidal choroidal neovascularization. The development of these secondary retinal changes is not clearly understood; however, hypoxia from the chronic detachment, a neurotoxic effect from the lipid deposition, or a biochemically induced microvascular abnormality from secretion of vasogenic mediators are possible mechanisms. Indocyanine green angiography is helpful in making a definitive diagnosis. Clinicians should be aware that a retinal microangiopathy may occur in such eyes so that the proper diagnosis can be made and appropriate treatment administered.