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      Pachychoroid Neovasculopathy Disguising as Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treated by Spironolactone and Anti-VEGF Combination Therapy

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          Nonresponse of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) to anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) therapy can often be attributed to misdiagnosis, and pathologies mimicking AMD might require different therapeutic concepts. In the following, we want to outline a case of presumed nAMD which revealed to be pachychoroid neovasculopathy (PNV) and was successfully treated by the addition of spironolactone. A 67-year-old female patient was referred for nonresponse of nAMD on her left eye after 29 intravitreal injections of aflibercept with no complete resolution of subretinal fluid. On fundoscopy, both maculae presented with pigment epithelium alterations, while the left eye showed subretinal fluid on optical coherence tomography (OCT) with an associated pigment epithelium detachment, which revealed to contain a neovascular network on OCT angiography. There was faint leakage on fluorescence (FAG) and indocyanine green angiography (ICGA) and some focal vascular dilation of the neovascular network on ICGA. Due to the absence of Drusen on any eye, a thick choroid, and the presence of a gravitational tract on blue autofluorescence (BAF), chronic central serous chorioretinopathy with a choroidal neovascularization, defined as PNV in the pachychoroid disease was diagnosed. Upon the addition of spironolactone to anti-VEGF treatment, choroidal thickness significantly decreased, and subretinal fluid resolution was observed and maintained for the first time. In conclusion, PNV should be ruled out in cases of presumed nAMD nonresponding to anti-VEGF. In these cases, a combination therapy of anti-VEGF and mineralocorticoid antagonists can facilitate fluid resorption.

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          Most cited references 15

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          Pachychoroid pigment epitheliopathy.

          To report nine cases of pachychoroid pigment epitheliopathy. An observational case series of nine patients who underwent comprehensive ophthalmic examination, fundus photography, fundus autofluorescence, spectral-domain optical coherence tomography, and enhanced depth imaging optical coherence tomography. Eighteen eyes of 9 patients, aged 27 years to 89 years, were diagnosed with pachychoroid pigment epitheliopathy based on the characteristic funduscopic appearance of reduced fundus tessellation with overlying retinal pigment epithelial changes in one or both eyes, fundus autofluorescence abnormalities, and increased subfoveal choroidal thickness confirmed by enhanced depth imaging optical coherence tomography (mean, 460.2 μm). The five older patients had been previously diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration, while the four younger subjects were referred for possible inflammatory chorioretinitis, pattern dystrophy, or nonspecific drusen. No subjects had a history of or subsequently developed subretinal fluid. Pachychoroid pigment epitheliopathy falls within a spectrum of diseases associated with choroidal thickening that includes central serous chorioretinopathy and polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy, and it should be suspected in eyes with a characteristic fundus appearance related to choroidal thickening and associated retinal pigment epithelial abnormalities but no history of subretinal fluid. Enhanced depth imaging optical coherence tomography confirming an abnormally thick choroid and characteristic retinal pigment epithelial changes on fundus autofluorescence support the diagnosis. Because these patients are frequently misdiagnosed, the recognition of pachychoroid pigment epitheliopathy may avoid unnecessary diagnostic testing and interventions.
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            Pachychoroid disease

            Pachychoroid is a relatively novel concept describing a phenotype characterized by attenuation of the choriocapillaris overlying dilated choroidal veins, and associated with progressive retinal pigment epithelium dysfunction and neovascularization. The emphasis in defining pachychoroid-related disorders has shifted away from simply an abnormally thick choroid (pachychoroid) toward a detailed morphological definition of a pathologic state (pachychoroid disease) with functional implications, which will be discussed in this review. Several clinical manifestations have been described to reside within the pachychoroid disease spectrum, including central serous chorioretinopathy, pachychoroid pigment epitheliopathy, pachychoroid neovasculopathy, polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy/aneurysmal type 1 neovascularization, focal choroidal excavation, peripapillary pachychoroid syndrome. These conditions all exhibit the characteristic choroidal alterations and are believed to represent different manifestations of a common pathogenic process. This review is based on both the current literature and the clinical experience of our individual authors, with an emphasis on the clinical and imaging features, management considerations, as well as current understanding of pathogenesis of these disorders within the context of the recent findings related to pachychoroid disease.
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              Type 1 (sub-retinal pigment epithelial) neovascularization in central serous chorioretinopathy masquerading as neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

              The purpose of this study was to describe clinical and multimodal imaging features of patients with Type 1 neovascularization who lack findings of age-related macular degeneration but instead have features consistent with long-standing central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC).

                Author and article information

                Case Reports in Ophthalmology
                S. Karger AG
                January - April 2021
                09 April 2021
                : 12
                : 1
                : 116-123
                Department of Ophthalmology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany
                510828 Case Rep Ophthalmol 2021;12:116–123
                © 2021 The Author(s). Published by S. Karger AG, Basel

                This article is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC). Usage and distribution for commercial purposes requires written permission. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Pages: 8
                Case Report


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