Historically, drusen, which are recognized as the hallmark of age-related macular degeneration
(AMD), have been described in terms of size, margins, and texture, and several studies have emphasized the importance of large soft drusen particularly when combined with focal pigmentary irregularities in determining the risk of progression to neovascular AMD. However, recent developments in imaging over the past decade have revealed a further distinct phenotype strongly associated with the development of late AMD, namely, reticular pseudodrusen
(RPD) or reticular drusen
. Reticular pseudodrusen
appear as yellowish interlacing networks in the fundus and, although visible on color photography, are better visualized using infrared imaging or spectral domain optical coherence tomography. Studies correlating spectral domain optical coherence tomography and confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy have shown that RPD are subretinal deposits located internal to the retinal pigment epithelium in contrast to traditional drusen, which are located external to the retinal pigment epithelium. As multiple longitudinal studies have revealed RPD are strong predictors for progression to both neovascular AMD and geographic atrophy, the interest in understanding the role that RPD play in the pathogenesis of AMD has grown. This review focuses on the current literature concerning RPD and considers what is currently known regarding their epidemiology, risk factors, appearance in both retinal imaging and histology, impact on visual function, relationship to other AMD lesions, and association with the development of late AMD.