OBJECTIVES: To explore the features of black hyperpigmentation in macular telangiectasia (MacTel) type 2 and correlate these findings with the characteristics of hyperpigmented epiretinal membranes (ERMs) using multimodal imaging.
METHODS: A case series of three patients with MacTel type 2 and hyperpigmented ERMs imaged with colour fundus photography, fluorescein angiography (FA), spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) and swept-source OCT angiography. Registration of different types of imaging was done using ImageJ v1.53f51 (National Institutes of Health, USA).
RESULTS: Three female patients with late-stage MacTel type 2 presented with unilateral hyperpigmented ERMs in the absence of peripheral retinal breaks. In one patient, an extensive ERM occurred along with a full-thickness macular hole (FTMH); in 2 patients, smaller ERMs were seen adjacent to superficial retinal veins. Serial imaging demonstrated that transretinal pigment migration preceded epiretinal proliferation of the hyperpigmented ERM towards superficial retinal veins.
CONCLUSION: Hyperpigmented ERMs may occur in the late phases of MacTel type 2 following a FTMH or transretinal migration of pigmented cells to the retinal surface. Once on the retinal surface, black pigment cells seem to proliferate centripetally toward superficial retinal veins.