Purpose To investigate the prevalence and clinical significance of small retinal haemorrhages accompanied by macular soft drusen in exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Methods This observational case series included patients who had first been diagnosed with exudative AMD. Small retinal haemorrhages were defined as preretinal or intraretinal haemorrhages, no larger than half the disc diameter in size and located within 3000 μm of the fovea centre. If there was more than one haemorrhage, the entire affected area was less than two-thirds of the disc diameter. Macular soft drusen was defined as the presence of soft drusen (≥125 μm in diameter) within the macular area. The presence of retinal angiomatous proliferation (RAP) was estimated based on the results of indocyanine green angiography (ICGA). The prevalence of reticular pseudodrusen was also estimated.
Results Among the 1921 eyes from 1604 patients who were newly diagnosed with exudative AMD during the 40 months prior to the study, 101 eyes (5.3%) from 79 patients presented with the fundus characteristics described above. ICGA images were available for 69 eyes. Among these eyes, 28 eyes (43.1%) and 25 eyes (38.5%) were found to have type 1 and 2 RAP, respectively. A chorioretinal anastomosis (type 3 RAP) was identified in 12 (18.5%) eyes. Reticular pseudodrusen were noted in 78 eyes (77.2%).
Conclusions The presence of small retinal haemorrhages accompanied by macular soft drusen was highly predictive of RAP. The high prevalence of both soft drusen and reticular pseudodrusen in these eyes may suggest a profound decrease in choroidal perfusion in these eyes.