A thickened choroid may be an independent predictor of myopic maculopathy (MM) progression, new research published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology suggests.

The study enrolled 434 participants ages seven to 70 with bilateral high myopia

(-6.00D or less spherical error, range: -6.00D to -27.00D) who completed follow-up visits over two years. The researchers measured choroidal thickness centered on the fovea using swept-source OCT at baseline and determined MM progression using fundus photography.

 At baseline, patients’ mean spherical equivalence was -10.50±3.18.00D and subfoveal choroidal thickness was 153.20±72.76μm.

Over the two-year follow-up, the study found 17.1% developed MM progression. Another key finding: subfoveal choroidal thickness was thinner in eyes with MM progression than those without it, with a mean difference of 99.31μm).

These findings didn’t vary between age groups, including individuals who were between seven and 18, 19 to 39 and 40 to 70.

The study’s regression model also indicated subfoveal choroidal thickness was a significant risk factor when age, gender, axial length and baseline MM were considered.

Also, the addition of subfoveal choroidal thickness significantly improved the predictive discrimination of MM progression compared with established risk factors alone.

Li Z, Wang W, Liu R, et al. Choroidal thickness predicts progression of myopic maculopathy in high myopes: a 2-year longitudinal study. Br J Ophthalmol. September 24, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].