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Torpedo maculopathy
  1. Pamela R Golchet1,
  2. Lee M Jampol1,
  3. Jeevan R Mathura Jr2,
  4. Mark J Daily3
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  2. 2Department of Ophthalmology, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA
  3. 3Department of Ophthalmology, Loyola University Medical School, Maywood, Illinois, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mark J Daily, Wheaton Eye Clinic, 2015 North Main Street, Wheaton, Illinois 60187, USA; markjdaily{at}


Aim To describe the fluorescein angiographic, fundus autofluorescence and optical coherence tomography (OCT) findings in patients with a unique unilateral lesion of the temporal macula previously named torpedo maculopathy.

Method This study was a retrospective, observational case series. The medical records of 13 patients, age 1–68 years, seen between 1982 and 2009 were reviewed. Patients were evaluated for lesion features and course on follow-up, visual acuity, fluorescein angiography, visual-field defects, fundus autofluorescence and OCT findings.

Results In all 13 patients, the lesion was flat, torpedo-shaped and solitary, and involved the temporal macula. The hypopigmented lesion had well-defined margins and a characteristic leading edge which pointed towards the centre of the macula. Fluorescein angiography revealed transmission hyperfluorescence of the lesion. OCT indicated a thin abnormal retinal pigment epithelium signal, and Humphrey Visual Field testing revealed a corresponding blind spot. Fundus autofluorescence performed on one patient was dark in the affected area.

Conclusion Torpedo maculopathy is an apparently congenital hypopigmented torpedo-shaped lesion of the temporal macula. Although it may result in a corresponding visual-field defect, these non-foveal lesions do not affect central visual acuity.

  • Retina
  • macula

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  • Funding Supported in part by an unrestricted grant from Research to Prevent Blindness, New York City (Northwestern University). Heidelberg provided research funds to Rush University Medical Center.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the Institutional review board of Northwestern University.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.