BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of drusen burden on the detection of subclinical choroidal neovascularization (CNV) on optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) in nonexudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD). PATIENTS AND METHODS: A subanalysis of the AVATAR study, subjects diagnosed with nonexudative AMD without subfoveal atrophy were included. Subclinical CNV was assessed using OCTA software, and drusen burden was graded utilizing the advanced retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) analysis. RESULTS: Among eligible 58 eyes, 26 eyes (45%) had high drusen burden. Of the three eyes (5%) that demonstrated subclinical CNV, only one eye had high drusen burden, and all three eyes had neovascular AMD in the fellow eye. Extrafoveal RPE atrophy (odds ratio [OR] = 20.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.53-261) and older age (OR = 1.27; 95% CI, 1.01-1.59) were predictive factors for subclinical CNV. CONCLUSION: Extrafoveal RPE atrophy, older age, and fellow-eye CNV were significant risk factors for underlying subclinical CNV in nonexudative AMD.
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