PHOTOCOAGULATION OF WELL-DEFINED CHOROIDAL NEOVASCULARIZATION IN AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION:Clinicopathologic Correlation

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Abstract

Purpose:

To present the clinicopathologic features of the eyes of a patient with age-related macular degeneration (ARMD): the right eye was treated for well-defined extrafoveal choroidal neovascularization (CNV), and the left eye had an untreated disciform scar.

Methods:

The patient was studied ophthalmoscopically and by fluorescein angiography at the time of presentation and on follow-up examinations up to 54 days after laser treatment, when he died. The posterior portions of both eyes (obtained postmortem), including the macula and optic nerve head, were sectioned serially for light microscopy. Tissue sections from both eyes were removed from glass slides and studied by transmission electron microscopy.

Results:

Histopathologic study of the right eye disclosed a thin layer of basal laminar deposit throughout the posterior pole. Two defects in Bruch's membrane without CNV were present within the area of laser photocoagulation located superior to the fovea. No CNV was present in the scar. Eleven areas of early CNV were present in the posterior pole. Histopathologic study of the left eye showed a prominent basal laminar deposit throughout the posterior pole. A 2.6 x 2.7 mm disciform scar was present that was located mostly in the subretinal space. Four sources of CNV were present.

Conclusions:

The clinicopathologic features of a treated eye with well-defined extrafoveal CNV, and the fellow eye with a disciform scar, both associated with ARMD, are presented. Although laser treatment obliterated a choroidal neovascular membrane, 11 additional areas of early, subclinical CNV were present.

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