To identify specific features of pigment epithelium detachments with limited hyperfluorescent lesions (hot spots).
One hundred eighty-two consecutive patients (186 eyes) who had vascularized pigment epithelium detachments and recent onset of symptoms were examined with indocyanine green and fluorescein videoangiography using the scanning laser ophthalmoscope. The choroidal neovascularization complex and macular retinal vessels were studied. The natural history and the effect of laser treatment were evaluated.
Fifty-four eyes had hot spots on indocyanine green angiography. In 50 of these 54 eyes, the video analysis showed an anastomosis of one or more retinal vessels, with the choroidal neovascularization within the hot spot. One or two retinal veins or arteries or both filled with both dyes and were seen to enter into the hot spot. Results of indocyanine green-guided photocoagulation of the hot spot in 28 eyes were disappointing.
Continuous recording of the early phases of fluorescein and indocyanine green angiography allowed identification of chorioretinal anastomoses in vascularized pigment epithelium detachments with hot spots at an early exudative stage of age-related macular degeneration in 50 (26.8%) of 186 eyes. The poor outcome of laser photocoagulation for choroidal neovascularization in this setting could be related not only to the development of an overlying pigment epithelium detachment, but also to the retinal and choroidal vascularization of the lesion.