In pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) patients, researchers recently found that longer angioid streaks—a a surrogate marker for the degree of Bruch’s membrane calcification—are associated with an increased risk of choroidal neovascularization (CNV) and macular atrophy, even after adjusting for age and sex.

This retrospective, cross-sectional study included 301 PXE patients with a median age of 52. A team separated them into five groups based on the extent of angioid streaks in each eye, including the distance from the optic disk. They conducted imaging for signs of CNV and macular atrophy and assessed the relationship between the extent of angioid streaks and the presence of CNV and macular atrophy.

The investigators observed CNV in 148 patients (49%) and retinal atrophy in 71 patients (24%). They noted that the extent of angioid streaks was associated with older age, a higher prevalence of CNV and more severe macular atrophy, despite age or sex.

“These findings are relevant when counseling PXE patients on their visual prognosis,” the study authors concluded in their paper.

Risseeuw S, Ossewaarde-van Norel J, van Buchem C, et al. The extent of angioid streaks correlates with macular degeneration in pseudoxanthoma elasticum. Am J Ophthalmol. July 20, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].