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To evaluate the characteristics of multifocal choroiditis and panuveitis (MCP) and punctate inner choroidopathy (PIC) using multimodal imaging.


This is a retrospective, consecutive, observational case series of 38 eyes of 22 patients. Each eye of patients with multiple yellow-white idiopathic inflammatory lesions in the fundus was classified as having MCP or PIC using standard diagnostic criteria in a masked fashion. The features of these eyes as determined from color fundus photography, spectral-domain optical coherence tomography, fundus autofluorescence, and angiography were compared across diagnostic categories. The main outcome measures were the features of both MCP and PIC as evidenced by multimodal imaging.


Of the 38 eyes, 23 eyes had MCP, 15 had PIC; and 7 patients had a discordant pairing of one diagnosis in 1 eye with the other diagnosis in the fellow eye. Acute lesions appeared as nodular collections under the retinal pigment epithelium. These solid retinal pigment epithelium detachments appeared to rupture leading to inflammatory infiltration of the subretinal space and outer retina, often with a widespread loss of the outer retinal architecture beyond the confines of the inflammatory exudate. Treatment with corticosteroids caused a rapid regression of this material with a slower resolution of the abnormalities of the outer retinal architecture. The pattern of inflammatory involvement seen by multimodal imaging did not vary between PIC and MCP. No consistent abnormalities were seen in the choroid in either condition, although there was slight thickening of the choroid underlying some acute lesions.


Despite the names of these diseases, the principle sites involved appears to be the subretinal pigment epithelium and outer retinal spaces. Because both MCP and PIC target the same essential structures in the same phenotypic manner and, when active, are treated the same way, there seems to be limited clinical utility in trying to differentiate them. Based on multimodal imaging results, a reappraisal of pathogenic features and naming conventions of these diseases seems indicated.

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