All three choroidal layers—the choriocapillaris (CC), Sattler's layer and Haller's layer—supply oxygen and nutrients to the outer retina and the retinal pigment epithelium. Choroidal dysfunction is often involved in the pathogenesis of fundus diseases such as AMD and central serous chorioretinopathy. A new study found relationships between CC function and anatomical measurements that might help clarify the origins of certain chorioretinal malformations.

Researchers examined 63 right eyes of healthy volunteers. The study found that flow deficit percentage and area were significantly positively associated with 3D CVI. Deficit count, however, was negatively associated. These findings tell us that choroidal vessel dilation, as indicated by the measurements used in this study, may cause a decrease in CC perfusion. 

“The size of inter-capillary spaces may change during deep choroidal vessel dilation, while the amount of these vessels may not change as much,” wrote the authors of the study. “In other words, the physiological alterations caused by choroid large vessel expansion may cause the increase of the inter-capillary space.”

Studying physiological and pathological choroidal alterations could help increase understanding of fundus disease pathogenesis. The authors noted that further research could look at the correlation between parameters in different regions, and that they are expanding the sample sizes to improve the reliability of these observations. 

Sun G, Chen C, Jiang J, et al. New insights into the association between choroidal vessels and choriocapillaris in normal eyes. Retina. June 21, 2021. Epub ahead of print.