Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate choroidal vein (ChV) morphological features in pachychoroid disease (PCD) with choroidal vascular hyperpermeability (CVH).
Methods: This retrospective study assessed subfoveal choroidal thickness (SFCT) and CVH area numbers and locations of recruited patients with PCD using multimodal images. ChV alteration patterns, including fusiform, bulbosity, sausaging, confluence, and anastomoses, as well as asymmetric ChVs, dominant ChVs, and non-dominant ChVs, were evaluated using wide-field indocyanine green angiograms.
Results: Of 68 PCD eyes from 35 patients (mean age: 46.16 ± 6.28 years, 71.4% men), 2.9% had uncomplicated pachychoroid, 32.4% had pachychoroid pigment epitheliopathy (PPE), 55.9% central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC), and 8.8% pachychoroid neovasculopathy (PNV). Mean SFCT was 468.65 ± 131.40 µm. Among 419 CVH areas, ChV fusiform, ChV bulbosity, and ChV sausaging accounted for 35.8%, 35.1%, and 29.1%, respectively; 21.2% had ChV confluence and 11.9% had ChV anastomoses. At CVH areas, 13.1% had retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) leakage. ChV fusiform is steadily declining (37.4%, 36.8%, and 22.9%, respectively), and ChV sausaging, ChV anastomoses, and ChV confluence are increased gradually in the PPE, CSC, and PNV groups (21.4%, 30.0%, and 37.1%; 11.4%, 11.1%, and 20.0%; and 19.8%, 20.9%, and 28.6%, respectively). Dominant ChVs had higher CVH area numbers than non-dominant ChVs in the PPE and CSC groups (P = 0.010, P = 0.001).
Conclusions: Different patterns of ChV alterations, including the newly identified ChV confluence, are commonly present at CVH areas in PCD. The CVH areas in PCD eyes are primarily located within the dominant ChVs. These findings provide crucial evidence for advancing our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of PCD pathogenesis.