The extent of angioid streaks correlates with macular degeneration in pseudoxanthoma elasticum

Sara Risseeuw, Jeannette Ossewaarde-van Norel, Colette van Buchem, Wilko Spiering, Saskia M Imhof, Redmer van Leeuwen

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Purpose: To investigate whether the extent of Bruch's membrane calcification is associated with choroidal neovascularization (CNV) and macular atrophy in patients with pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) by using the extent of angioid streaks as a surrogate marker for the degree of Bruch's membrane calcification. Design: Retrospective cross-sectional study. Methods: We investigated 301 patients with PXE (median age, 52 years; range, 9-79 years) in a tertiary referral center. For both eyes, we graded the extent of angioid streaks, that is, their distance from the optic disc, into 5 groups. Imaging was systematically assessed for signs of CNV and macular atrophy. Associations between the extent of angioid streaks and CNV or macular atrophy were investigated using regression analysis. Results: CNV was present in 148 patients (49%) and retinal atrophy in 71 patients (24%). The extent of angioid streaks was associated with older age (P for trend = 1.92 × 10 −15) and a higher prevalence of CNV and/or macular atrophy (P for trend = 4.22 × 10 −10 and P for trend = 5.17 × 10 −6, respectively). In addition, the extent of angioid streaks was associated with the presence of CNV when adjusted for age and sex (odds ratio, 1.9; 95% confidence interval, 1.3-2.9) and with more severe macular atrophy (proportional odds ratio, 2.3; 95% confidence interval, 1.5-3.6). Conclusions: In patients with PXE, longer angioid streaks are associated with an increased risk of CNV and macular atrophy, even after adjustment for age. These findings are relevant when counseling PXE patients on their visual prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-90
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Ophthalmology
Early online date20 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angioid Streaks/diagnosis
  • Bruch Membrane/pathology
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration/complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pseudoxanthoma Elasticum/complications
  • Retina/pathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Visual Acuity
  • Young Adult


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