PURPOSE: We sought to identify specific fluorescein angiographic patterns that may have led to the diagnosis of questionable recurrent choroidal neovascularization. We evaluated follow-up information to determine whether any specific angiographic patterns could be used to identify patients at high risk for definite recurrence. METHODS: We identified fluorescein angiograms graded as questionable for recurrent choroidal neovascularization that were taken from a previous prospective study involving 401 consecutive follow-up visits of patients treated with photocoagulation for choroidal neovascularization. We reviewed these angiograms to identify specific angiographic patterns that might have led to the classification of questionable recurrent choroidal neovascularization. Angiograms from visits subsequent to a questionable recurrence were reviewed to determine which patterns, if any, were associated with an increased risk for a definite recurrence to develop later. RESULTS: Forty-four eyes (44 patients) with questionable recurrences (of which 40 had at least four months of follow-up) were categorized into six angiographic patterns. The three most common patterns included the following: (1) focal staining along the edge of the laser lesion (20 cases, 15 subsequently recurred); (2) blocked fluorescence from subretinal hemorrhage not documented at the previous visit (eight cases, five subsequently recurred); (3) speckled hyperfluorescence noted beyond the edge of the laser lesion (eight cases, six subsequently recurred). CONCLUSIONS: Questionable recurrent choroidal neovascularization may be identified by specific angiographic patterns. Focal staining along the edge of the laser lesion and speckled hyperfluorescence were the patterns that were most likely to progress to definite recurrence.
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