To study the findings of optical coherence tomography (OCT) in retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) tears.
Sixteen eyes of 16 consecutive patients with age-related macular degeneration complicated by RPE tear were studied using OCT. Fluorescein angiography also was performed. Thirteen eyes were at the acute stage and three eyes were at the scarring stage, still with a recognizable tear.
Optical coherence tomography identified an RPE detachment (PED) with focal interruption of the RPE in all cases. Optical coherence tomography always highlighted a peculiar non-dome-shaped profile of the serous PED, as opposed to that of the PED not complicated by an RPE tear. A very intense hyperreflectivity was observed in the OCT scans performed through the retracted RPE. A deep hyperreflectivity under the line corresponding to the RPE was evident in the area of the bare choroid. No choroidal neovascularization could be visualized using OCT, either at the acute or at the scarring stages.
Optical coherence tomography, a noncontact, noninvasive imaging technique, may be a useful tool, complementary to fluorescein angiography, in the clinical assessment of RPE tears.