Correlation of Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography of Type 3 Macular Neovascularization With Corresponding Histology

Andreas Berlin, Diogo Cabral, Ling Chen, Jeffrey D. Messinger, Chandrakumar Balaratnasingam, Randev Mendis, Daniela Ferrara, K. Bailey Freund, Christine A. Curcio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Importance: By validating optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) in the analysis of type 3 macular neovascularization secondary to age-related macular degeneration, the overall value of clinical OCTA for disease observation, diagnosis, and staging is increased. Objective: To assess the association of in vivo OCTA of type 3 macular neovascularization secondary to age-related macular degeneration with corresponding ex vivo histology. Design, Setting, and Participants: This study included clinical imaging, laboratory microscopy, and eye-tracked clinicopathologic correlation of a single case from a community-based practice evaluated at a university-based research laboratory from 2014 to 2019. Exposures: Infrared reflectance and eye-tracked spectral-domain OCTA clinical imaging was correlated with ex vivo high-resolution histologic images of the preserved donor eye. Eye tracking, applied to the donor eye, enabled identification of histologic features corresponding with clinical OCTA signatures. Projection artifact removal based on 2-dimensional vessel-shape estimation and a Gaussian blur filter demonstrated a robust preservation of neovascular flow signal. Main Outcomes and Measures: Histology findings associated with clinical OCTA signatures. Three-dimensional view of neovascularization via video. Results: A White woman in her 90s with type 3 neovascularization secondary to age-related macular degeneration was treated with 37 intravitreal injections of ranibizumab and aflibercept in the right eye. The index lesion displayed a drusenoid pigment epithelium detachment, characteristic of type 3 neovascularization. OCTA decorrelation signal in the index lesion corresponded in histology to a collagen-ensheathed vascular complex contacting basal laminar deposit that outlasted the retinal pigment epithelium. The subretinal pigment epithelium-basal laminar space contained calcified material and glial processes. No connection between the choriocapillaris and this space was observed. Video showed a columnar tangle of flow signal in the outer nuclear layer, with inflow and outflow vessels connecting to the superficial artery and vein. Conclusions and Relevance: While this study presents only 1 case in which a vascular connection between subretinal pigment epithelium-basal laminar space and choriocapillaris was undetected, these results support the potential value of OCTA for diagnosis. OCTA decorrelation signal of type 3 neovascularization corresponded with intraretinal neovessels on histology. Projection artifact removal based on 2-dimensional vessel-shape estimation and Gaussian blur filter demonstrated their potential value for further use in OCTA decorrelation signal processing.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJAMA Ophthalmology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Apr 2022

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