Choroidal round hyporeflectivities in geographic atrophy

Eleonora Corbelli, Riccardo Sacconi, Luigi Antonio De Vitis, Adriano Carnevali, Alessandro Rabiolo, Lea Querques, Francesco Bandello, Giuseppe Querques

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose In geographic atrophy (GA), choroidal vessels typically appear on structural optical coherence tomography (OCT) as hyperreflective round areas with highly reflective borders. We observed that some GA eyes show choroidal round hyporeflectivities with highly reflective borders beneath the atrophy, and futher investigated the charcteristcs by comparing structural OCT, indocyanine green angiography (ICGA) and OCT angiography (OCT-A). Methods Round hyporeflectivities were individuated from a pool of patients with GA secondary to non-neovascular age-related macular degeneration consecutively presenting between October 2015 and March 2016 at the Medical Retina & Imaging Unit of the University Vita-Salute San Raffaele. Patients underwent a complete ophthalmologic examination including ICGA, structural OCT and OCT-A. The correspondence between choroidal round hyporeflectivities beneath GA on structural OCT and ICGA and OCT-A imaging were analyzed. Results Fifty eyes of 26 consecutive patients (17 females and 9 males; mean age 76.8±6.2 years) with GA were included. Twenty-nine round hyporeflectivities have been found by OCT in choroidal layers in 21 eyes of 21 patients (42.0%; estimated prevalence of 57.7%). All 29 round hyporeflectivities showed constantly a hyperreflective border and a backscattering on structural OCT, and appeared as hypofluorescent in late phase ICGA and as dark foci with non detectable flow in the choroidal segmentation of OCT-A. Interestingly, the GA area was greater in eyes with compared to eyes without round hyporeflectivities (9.30±5.74 and 5.57 ±4.48mm2, respectively; p = 0.01). Conclusions Our results suggest that most round hyporeflectivities beneath GA may represent non-perfused or hypo-perfused choroidal vessels with non-detectable flow.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0166968
JournalPLoS One
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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