Macular degeneration

Last author update: 1 February 2014
Last staff update: 24 December 2020

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PubMed Search: Macular degeneration[title] retina [title]

Nat Pernick, M.D.
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Cite this page: Pernick N. Macular degeneration. PathologyOutlines.com website. https://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/eyeretinamaculardegeneration.html. Accessed September 26th, 2023.
Definition / general
  • Age related (senile) macular degeneration is the most common cause of irreversible visual loss in US
  • Causes loss of central portion of vision
  • May be due to vascular disease in choriocapillaris and retinal pigment epithelium
  • Non-disciform (atrophic, dry type) causes slow, bilateral visual loss in elderly with atrophy and degeneration of retinal pigment epithelium and choriocapillaris; also drusen
  • Disciform (wet, exudative type) is associated with more severe and acute vision loss; often after non-disciform degenerative changes and due to hemorrhagic retinal detachment secondary to neovascularization, as vessels from choriocapillaris penetrate through Bruch membrane beneath the retinal pigment epithelium and leak fluid / blood which organizes into macular scars
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Small macular scars
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