Clinicopathological correlation of chroroidal neovascularization after extenal beam radiotherapy in age-related macular degeneration

S. Aisenbrey, Bart A. Lafaut*, S. Reynders, P. Szurman, S. Grisanti, C. Vanden Broecke, P. Walter, Karl Ulrich Bartz-Schmidt

*Corresponding author for this work
4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To analyze the histopathology of choroidal neovascularization after external beam radiotherapy in age-related macular degeneration. Methods: A retrospective non-case-matched comparative histopathologic study. The histoarchitecture of nine surgically removed subretinal specimens from nine patients that had undergone external beam radiotherapy for exudative age-related macular degeneration was studied. Seven patients had received 20 Gy in 10 fractions and two 15 Gy in 5 fractions with an average time interval between radiotherapy and surgical extraction of 14 months (range 3-28). A consecutive series of classic, mixed and occult choroidal neovascular membranes served as controls. Results: Clinical findings. Radiation-associated choroidal neovasculopathy was angiographically suspected in four patients: a coarse net of vessels on fluorescein angiography developing at the border of previously irradiated choroidal neovascularization was observed in three patients ; blebs at the margin of a plaque on indocyanine green angiography were observed in two patients. Pathological findings. Diffuse drusen as well as intra-Bruch's fibrovascular tissue was found in all irradiated specimens. In four specimens an edematous vascularized layer was seen between diffuse drusen and normal-appearing intra-Bruch's fibrovascular tissue. This lesion was not found in the control specimens. A particular correlation for the bleb lesion was not recognized. Conclusion: The appearance of an edematous subretinal pigment epithelial vascularized layer between diffuse drusen and normal-appearing fibrovascular tissue in four of nine irradiated membranes may be secondary to previous irradiation. It may correlate with the unusual exudative manifestations observed after external beam radiotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)269-276
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 01.04.2003

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)


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