TYPE 3 NEOVASCULARIZATION: Evolution, Association With Pigment Epithelial Detachment, and Treatment Response as Revealed by Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography

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To demonstrate the evolution and treatment response of Type 3 neovascularization using spectral domain optical coherence tomography.


We retrospectively analyzed 40 eyes treated with intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy for Type 3 neovascularization over a variable follow-up period.


In 17 eyes, spectral domain optical coherence tomography captured the development of Type 3 neovascularization from punctate hyperreflective foci that preceded any outer retinal defect. The more mature Type 3 lesions were associated with outer retinal disruption and adjacent cystoid macular edema. In addition, 37 of 40 Type 3 lesions (93%) were associated with an underlying pigment epithelial detachment, of which 26 (70%) were drusenoid, 6 (16%) serous, and 5 (14%) mixed. Type 3 vessels appeared to leak fluid into the pigment epithelial detachment cavity, creating serous pigment epithelial detachments as large as 925 μm in maximal height. Treatment with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agents led to prompt involution of the lesion and resorption of the intraretinal and subretinal pigment epithelium fluid after one or two injections (median = 1).


In some eyes with age-related macular degeneration, the earliest sign of Type 3 neovascularization is punctate hyperreflective foci above the external limiting membrane. The mature Type 3 lesions and associated serous pigment epithelial detachments are highly responsive to anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy.

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