Pathogenesis of laser-induced choroidal subretinal neovascularization

H. Miller, B. Miller, T. Ishibashi, S. J. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The early stages (1 day to 3 weeks) in the development of laser-induced choroidal subretinal neovascularization were studied in the monkey eye. Histopathology revealed that the intense laser beam disrupted the choroid/Bruch's membrane/retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) complex and initiated a repair process. Although all lesions received the same energy density, the initial choroidal wound varied among the lesions: in some, the necrotic choroid was surrounded by hemorrhagic retinal detachment with RPE denudation; in others, the necrotic choroid was surrounded only by minimal damage to the RPE monolayer. Formation of the choroidal wound was followed by an inflammatory response. Later, newly formed choroidal tissue filled the wound and continued to proliferate towards the subretinal space, RPE cells from the edges of the wound proliferated over the newly formed subretinal tissue and closed the wound. In lesions with a large area of damaged RPE, coverage of the wound was slow; fluid accumulated in the subretinal space, and the lesions demonstrated pooling of fluorescein on angiography (leaky lesions). In lesions with minimal damage to the RPE monolayer, closure of the wound was rapid, and the proliferating choroidal tissue did not reach the subretinal space. There was no subretinal fluid accumulation and no pooling of fluorescein on angiography (nonleaky lesions). Our results indicate that both the amount of damage of the choroid/Bruch's membrane/RPE complex and the ability of RPE cells around the damaged area to proliferate and restore the continuity of the RPE layer determine the evolution of newly formed choroidal fibrovascular tissue into a subretinal membrane with or without pooling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-908
Number of pages10
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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