Background: Macular hole results from a tractional force at the vitreo-retinal interface which is developed by modification and subsequent degeneration of the posterior precortical vitreous and the internal limiting membrane (ILM). Meanwhile, the wet type of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is caused by the submacular formation of choroidal neovascularization (CNV). Although exudative changes derived from CNV may cause epiretinal membrane (ERM) formation, which can also cause tractional force at the vitreo-retinal interface, there have been few reports of AMD-associated macular hole development in which the full thickness of the retinal tissue is completely torn by the tractional force. Moreover, intraoperative finding of macular hole associated with AMD with a possible involvement of subretinal lesion has not been described.
Case presentation. A 78-year-old man diagnosed with wet AMD with subretinal fluid and mild cataract received 8 treatments with intravitreal pegaptanib. After AMD remission, he developed a secondary macular hole in the same eye. He underwent a pars plana vitrectomy that successfully closed the macular hole. Intraoperatively, it was found that the patient's vitreous was formed and that the ERM and ILM were adherent, suggesting the involvement of a tractional force at the vitreo-retinal interface due to an inflammatory reaction related to AMD and/or intravitreally injected chemical compounds, resulting in macular hole development. Changes in the condition of his AMD and the RPE were observed on a fluorescein angiogram (FA) and an indocyanine green angiogram (IA) that preceded macular hole development, suggesting that subretinal changes may also have been involved in the pathogenesis.
Conclusion: These clinical data, including the intraoperative findings and the temporal changes in the angiograms, suggest that an inflammatory reaction at the vitreo-retinal interface and subretinal lesion related to AMD contribute to the macular hole development in AMD patients treated with intravitreal injection.
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