Evaluating polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy with optical coherence tomography angiography

Min Wang, Yao Zhou, Simon S. Gao, Wei Liu, Yongheng Huang, David Huang, Yali Jia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Purpose: We observed and analyzed the morphologic characteristics of polypoidal lesions and abnormal branching vascular network (BVN) in patients with polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV) by optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA). Methods: A retrospective observational case series was done of patients with PCV. All patients were scanned with a 70-kHz spectral-domain OCT system using the split-spectrum amplitude-decorrelation angiography (SSADA) algorithm to distinguish blood flow from static tissue. The OCTA images of these patients were compared to those from indocyanine green angiography (ICGA). Semiautomated segmentation was used to further analyze the polypoidal lesion and the BVN. Results: We studied 13 eyes of 13 patients 51 to 69 years old. A total of 11 patients were treatment-naive. Two patients had multiple anti-VEGF injections and one underwent photodynamic therapy (PDT). Optical coherence tomography angiography was able to detect the BVN in all cases. Using cross-sectional OCTA, BVN locations were shown to be in the space between the RPE and Bruch's membrane. Using en face OCTA, the BVN vascular pattern could be shown more clearly than by ICGA. Polypoidal lesions showed high flow signals in different patterns in 12 cases in the outer retina slab. Using cross-sectional OCTA, the polyps were shown to be just below the top of the pigment epithelial detachment (PED). In one case, the polypoidal lesion was not detectable at the outer retina slab. Conclusions: Optical coherence tomography angiography is a noninvasive imaging tool for detecting vascular changes in PCV. Branching vascular networks showed more clearly on OCTA than on ICGA. Polypoidal lesions had variable patterns on OCTA and were not always detected. The OCTA patterns of the polypoidal lesions and the BVN are helpful in understanding the pathology of PCV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)526-532
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jul 2016


  • Branching vascular network
  • Optical coherence tomography angiography
  • Polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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