Sacconi R, Cicinelli MV, Borrelli E, Savastano MC, Rispoli M, Lumbroso B, Corbelli E, Casaluci M, Bandello F, Querques G.
Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2020 Oct;258(10):2163-2171. doi: 10.1007/s00417-020-04769-7. Epub 2020 Jun 13. DOI: 10.1007/s00417-020-04769-7
PMID: 32535671
Publication year: 2020


Purpose: To investigate the optical coherence tomography (OCT) en face reconstruction of the choroid in different phenotypes of non-neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), to identify the relative distribution of the vascular patterns of the Haller’s layer in each AMD category.

Methods: Retrospective study enrolling consecutive patients with non-neovascular AMD. Patients were divided into the following: (1) those with reticular pseudodrusen (RPD); (2) those with small (< 63 μm) or medium-large drusen (63-124 μm); (3) those with geographic atrophy (GA). Qualitative analysis of the en face images provided by CIRRUS HD-OCT 5000 (Carl Zeiss Meditech, Inc., Dublin, USA) was performed, identifying five arrangements of Haller’s vessels: temporal herringbone, branched from below, laterally diagonal, double arcuate, and reticular. Choroidal thickness (CT) was measured from structural OCT. Healthy age-matched subjects were included as a control group.

Results: Fifty-eight eyes of 58 patients (20 eyes with RPD; 22 eyes with drusen; 16 eyes with GA) and 18 control eyes were enrolled. The laterally diagonal configuration was the most prevalent (40.0%) in the RPD group; the reticular pattern was the most frequent in the drusen group (50.0%); the double arcuate (62.5%) was the most recurrent pattern in patients with GA. In the control group, the temporal herringbone (38.9%) arrangement was the most represented. The CT associated with the temporal herringbone and reticular arrangement was significantly higher compared to the branched from below (p < 0.001), the laterally diagonal (p = 0.014), and the double arcuate pattern (p = 0.009).

Conclusion: Different phenotypes of non-neovascular AMD present a specific distribution of vascular arrangement on en face OCT. The temporal herringbone and the reticular pattern (the ones more associated in a physiological setting) disclosed a thicker choroid compared to the arrangements more represented in non-neovascular AMD-correlated phenotypes.

Keywords: Age-related macular degeneration; Choroidal patterns; Drusen; En face optical coherence tomography; Geographic atrophy; Reticular pseudodrusen.