Haller’s vessels patterns in non-neovascular age-related macular degeneration

Riccardo Sacconi, Maria Vittoria Cicinelli, Enrico Borrelli, Maria Cristina Savastano, Marco Rispoli, Bruno Lumbroso, Eleonora Corbelli, Marco Casaluci, Francesco Bandello, Giuseppe Querques

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To investigate the optical coherence tomography (OCT) en face reconstruction of the choroid in different phenotypes of non-neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), to identify the relative distribution of the vascular patterns of the Haller’s layer in each AMD category. Methods: Retrospective study enrolling consecutive patients with non-neovascular AMD. Patients were divided into the following: (1) those with reticular pseudodrusen (RPD); (2) those with small (< 63 μm) or medium–large drusen (63–124 μm); (3) those with geographic atrophy (GA). Qualitative analysis of the en face images provided by CIRRUS HD-OCT 5000 (Carl Zeiss Meditech, Inc., Dublin, USA) was performed, identifying five arrangements of Haller’s vessels: temporal herringbone, branched from below, laterally diagonal, double arcuate, and reticular. Choroidal thickness (CT) was measured from structural OCT. Healthy age-matched subjects were included as a control group. Results: Fifty-eight eyes of 58 patients (20 eyes with RPD; 22 eyes with drusen; 16 eyes with GA) and 18 control eyes were enrolled. The laterally diagonal configuration was the most prevalent (40.0%) in the RPD group; the reticular pattern was the most frequent in the drusen group (50.0%); the double arcuate (62.5%) was the most recurrent pattern in patients with GA. In the control group, the temporal herringbone (38.9%) arrangement was the most represented. The CT associated with the temporal herringbone and reticular arrangement was significantly higher compared to the branched from below (p < 0.001), the laterally diagonal (p = 0.014), and the double arcuate pattern (p = 0.009). Conclusion: Different phenotypes of non-neovascular AMD present a specific distribution of vascular arrangement on en face OCT. The temporal herringbone and the reticular pattern (the ones more associated in a physiological setting) disclosed a thicker choroid compared to the arrangements more represented in non-neovascular AMD-correlated phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2163-2171
Number of pages9
JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2020


  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Choroidal patterns
  • Drusen
  • En face optical coherence tomography
  • Geographic atrophy
  • Reticular pseudodrusen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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