The appearance of stippled retinal pigment epithelial detachments: A sign of occult choroidal neovascularization in age-related macular degeneration

Albert R. Frederick, Michael G. Morley, Trexler M. Topping, Timothy J. Peterson, David Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


The clinical source of 62 eyes that had been coded for macular degeneration and fi- brovascular retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) detachment on fluorescein angiography was reviewed; 17 eyes had signs of a choroidal neovas- cular membrane (CNVM) at initial examination, and 30 eyes developed a definite CNVM during follow-up examination. Thus, 47 of the 62 eyes (76%) developed a CNVM in association with fibrovascular RPE detachments. Features of fi- brovascular RPE detachments include: 1) focal, tiny hyperfluorescent spots at the level of the RPE arising in the mid and late frames of the angiogram, which do not correspond to drusen or foci of depigmentation (stippled hyperfluorescence); 2) intensification of these spots in the later stages of the angiogram; 3) slight enlargement of the spots in the late frames of the angiogram; 4) occasional presence of scant overlying subretinal fluid; and 5) minimal elevation of the RPE. Fibrovascular RPE detachments appear to be a distinct form of an RPE detachment. It is concluded that this sign is associated with a high risk of developing a frank CNVM and is thus a reliable indicator of occult neovascularization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-7
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1993



  • Age-Related macular degeneration
  • Fibrovascular retinal pigment epithelium detachment
  • Fluorescein angiography
  • Neovascular membrane
  • Occult choroidal neovascular membrane
  • Retinal pigment epithelial detachment
  • Stippled hyperfluorescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems

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