To explore the pathological features and clinical significance of three types of neovascularization elsewhere (NVE) in proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
Neovascularization elsewhere was classified based on the origins and morphologic features using fluorescein angiography and angiographic and structural optical coherence tomography. The topographical distribution, vitreoretinal interface, and responsiveness to panretinal photocoagulation were compared among three types of NVE.
One hundred and twenty-seven NVEs were classified into three types. Type 1 NVE was concentrated along or adjacent to vascular arcades; Type 2 was distributed more peripherally than were Types 1 and 3 NVE. The arch bridge–like vitreoretinal interface accounted for 79% of Type 1 NVE. The flat and flat-forward vitreoretinal interface accounted for 95% and 100% in Type 2 and Type 3 NVE, respectively. At 3 months after panretinal photocoagulation, the regression rates for Types 1, 2, and 3 NVE were 82%, 100%, and 80%, respectively. Type 2 NVE showed best regression rate after panretinal photocoagulation (both P < 0.01).
Three types of NVE determine the distinctly topographical distributions, vitreoretinal interface features, and differential responsiveness to panretinal photocoagulation treatment. This new concept may have important clinical implications in assessing the treatment and prognosis of proliferative diabetic retinopathy.