Contributor: Gordon K. Klintworth
Choroidal neovascularization is a common disorder of the choroid characterized by the presence of neovascularization that starts in the choroid and extends through Bruch membrane and the retinal pigment epithelium into the subretinal space. It occurs most often in the region of the macula and results in exudates and detachment of the retinal pigment epithelium [detachment - retinal pigment epithelium] and of the sensory retina [retinal detachment]. The newly formed blood vessels commonly bleed giving rise to hemorrhage beneath the retinal pigment epithelium and the sensory retina. Healing of the lesion often results in the formation of a neovascular membrane [membrane - neovascular]. Important causes of choroid neovascularization include age-related maculopathy, ocular histoplasmosis [ocular histoplasmosis syndrome], angioid streaks, high myopia [myopia - high], traumatic choroidal rupture, drusen of the optic nerve [drusen - optic nerve], and some retinal dystrophies [retinal dystrophy]. Photocoagulation and photodynamic therapy has been shown to control choroidal neovascularization in some patients.