Occult inflammation detected by autofluorescence May Be the cause of idiopathic choroidal neovascularization

Luiz H. Lima, CLAUDIO MAURICIO ZETT LOBOS, Marcelo B. Casella, Felipe Pereira, Eduardo B. Rodrigues, Deepika C. Parameswarappa, Jay Chabblani

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2 Scopus citations


Purpose: To describe retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) disease detected by fundus autofluorescence (FAF) imaging in eyes with idiopathic choroidal neovascularization (ICNV). Methods: A retrospective review of patients seen during a 14-month period with the diagnosis of ICNV was performed to identify patients with RPE disease, defined as hypo or hyperautofluorescent lesions on FAF. The presence of ICNV was confirmed by clinical history, ophthalmoscopic examination, fluorescein angiography (FA), and spectral domain-optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT). The clinical diagnosis of an underlying inflammatory condition was based on the FAF appearance of multiple punched-out hyper or hypoautofluorescent spots in the retinal fundus. Results: The mean age was 27 years (range, 21-33 years). Best-corrected visual acuity ranged from 20/25 to 20/200 with a median visual acuity of 20/80. Ten eyes of 8 patients presented RPE abnormalities on FAF. Of the 10 study eyes, ICNV was observed in 8 eyes. ICNV appeared as a type 2 neovascular membrane at the macular area on FA, and SD-OCT revealed neurosensory detachment in all study eyes. FAF demonstrated abnormalities of the RPE that were not appreciated on clinical examination or by other imaging modalities. Conclusions: FAF may reveal an underlying inflammatory condition in patients diagnosed as ICNV, modifying the diagnosis and management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100965
JournalAmerican Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Fundus autofluorescence
  • idiopathic choroidal neovascularization
  • Inflammation
  • Multifocal choroiditis
  • Punctate inner choroidopathy


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