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Morphological features and prognostic significance of multilayered pigment epithelium detachment in age-related macular degeneration


Aims To investigate the structure of multilayered pigment epithelial detachment (m-PED) in neovascular age-related macular degeneration, and its association with visual prognosis and the progression of fibrotic scars at 12 months.

Methods We retrospectively analysed 68 eyes of 63 patients with m-PED that included a prechoroidal cleft. The compartments within m-PED were divided into neovascular tissue (layer 1), a hyper-reflective band (layer 2), and a prechoroidal cleft (layer 3). Clinical variables were compared between patients manifesting layer 2 and those who did not. Multiple regression analyses were used to find the factors related to visual outcome and fibrotic scar formation.

Results Layer 2 was detected in 38 (55.9 %) of 68 eyes. With continuous treatment, the group with layer 2 showed gradual visual deterioration (p<0.001 at month 12), while the group without layer 2 showed visual improvement (p<0.001 at month 12). In the group with layer 2, the thickness of layer 2 significantly increased, and in the group without layer 2, if it formed, it increased gradually (p=0.004 at month 12). In both groups, other layers significantly decreased by month 12. The presence of layer 2 at baseline was significantly associated with a poor visual outcome (p=0.009) and fibrotic scar formation (p=0.023).

Conclusions The m-PED with layer 2 had a higher risk of fibrotic scar formation and was associated with a poor visual prognosis. Layer 2 may be an early stage precursor of a fibrotic scar.

  • diagnostic tests/Investigation
  • degeneration
  • imaging
  • macula
  • retina

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request.

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