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Optical Coherence Tomography Features of Macular Hyperpigmented Lesions without Intraretinal Hyperreflective Foci in Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

PURPOSE: To evaluate the optical coherence tomography (OCT) features of hyperpigmented lesions in the absence of intraretinal hyperreflective foci (IHRF) on OCT in eyes with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed OCT images of eyes with intermediate AMD (iAMD) and macular hyperpigmentation (HP) on color fundus photograph (CFP) but without IHRF on OCT in the corresponding location. The most prominent or definite HP was selected for analysis. The infrared reflectance (IR) image registered with the CFP, and the location corresponding to the HP lesion were defined on the IR image. The location of the HP on the corresponding OCT B-scan was assessed for retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) elevation, acquired vitelliform lesion (AVL), abnormal retinal pigment epithelium + basal lamina (RPE + BL) band reflectivity, RPE + BL band thickening, as well as interdigitation zone (IZ), ellipsoid zone (EZ) and external limiting membrane (ELM) disruption.

RESULTS: 49 eyes (39 patients) were included in this study. Forty-six (94%) of the hyperpigmented lesions showed a thickened RPE + BL band. RPE + BL band reflectivity was increased in 37 (76%) of the lesions. RPE + BL band thickening, however, was not correlated with RPE + BL band reflectivity (p-value = 0.31). Either thickening or hyperreflectivity of the RPE + BL band was present in all cases. Twenty (41%) lesions had evidence of ELM disruption, 42 (86%) demonstrated EZ disruption and 48 (98%) had IZ disruption. Five (10%) HPs demonstrated AVL. Among cases with RPE elevation (15 cases, 31%), 10 were classified as drusen, 2 as drusenoid PEDs, and 3 as fibrovascular PEDs.

CONCLUSIONS: Thickening and/or hyperreflectivity of the RPE + BL band commonly correspond to regions of macular hyperpigmentation without IHRF in eyes with iAMD.

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