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Giuseppe Querques, Eliana Costanzo, Alexandra Miere, Vittorio Capuano, Eric H. Souied; Choroidal Caverns: A Novel Optical Coherence Tomography Finding in Geographic Atrophy. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(6):2578-2582. doi: 10.1167/iovs.16-19083.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To describe and interpret “choroidal caverns,” an unreported optical coherence tomography (OCT) finding in the choroid of patients with geographic atrophy (GA) secondary to atrophic AMD.
Retrospective analysis of patients with GA. Main outcomes measures included estimation of the prevalence of choroidal caverns, their localization and relation with retinal-choroidal structures by reviewing medical records and multimodal imaging.
One hundred twenty consecutive patients (mean age 80.5 ± 8.61 years) were included. Among the 201 eyes with GA, 17 eyes of 15 patients presented choroidal caverns on OCT B-scan in GA areas (a total of 43 choroidal caverns, mean 2.5/eye, variably localized in the Sattler and Haller layers, with relative preservation of the choriocapillaris). This accounts for 12.5% estimated prevalence (6.5–18.5, 95% confidence interval [CI]) of choroidal caverns in GA areas of atrophic AMD patients. Choroidal caverns appeared on OCT (both B-scan and en face) as gaping hyporeflective cavities in the choroid, typically empty, angular, without hyperreflective borders, often with punctate/linear hyperreflectivities internally. Indocyanine angiography and OCT-Angiography confirmed that the areas occupied by these cavities do not represent perfused choroidal blood vessels.
Choroidal caverns represent a relatively infrequent peculiar finding in GA areas of atrophic AMD eyes. They appear as gaping angular hyporeflective cavities in areas devoid of choroidal vessels, often with punctate/linear hyperreflectivities internally. Choroidal caverns may possibly arise from nonperfused ghost vessels and persistence of stromal pillars where the vessels were originally situated.
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