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Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 396-398  

Idiopathic macular telangiectasia type 1 with ruptured retinal arterial macroaneurysm post intravitreal bevacizumab

Department of Vitreo-Retina, Aravind Eye Hospital and Postgraduate Institute of Ophthalmology, Thavalakuppam, Puducherry, India

Date of Web Publication1-Jul-2015

Correspondence Address:
Chinmay P Nakhwa
Department of Vitreo-Retina, Aravind Eye Hospital and Postgraduate Institute of Ophthalmology, Cuddalore main road, Thavalakuppam, Puducherry - 605 007
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-9233.159779

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A 50-year-old Indian male presented with defective vision in the right eye for 6 months. He was diagnosed to have idiopathic macular telangiectasia (IMT) type 1 associated with diffuse macular edema and multiple retinal arterial macroaneurysms (RAM). Intravitreal bevacizumab was administered for the treatment of macular edema, following which there was a rupture of a preexisting RAM with multilevel retinal hemorrhages. The hemorrhage gradually resolved over time with foveal thinning noted at last visit. We report this case for the rare occurrence of IMT type 1 and also the possibly associated rupture of RAM post intravitreal bevacizumab injection.

Keywords: Bevacizumab, Ruptured Retinal Arterial Macroaneurysms, Type 1 Idiopathic Macular Telangiectasia

How to cite this article:
Nakhwa CP, Sindal MD. Idiopathic macular telangiectasia type 1 with ruptured retinal arterial macroaneurysm post intravitreal bevacizumab. Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol 2015;22:396-8

How to cite this URL:
Nakhwa CP, Sindal MD. Idiopathic macular telangiectasia type 1 with ruptured retinal arterial macroaneurysm post intravitreal bevacizumab. Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2015 [cited 2021 Oct 27];22:396-8. Available from: http://www.meajo.org/text.asp?2015/22/3/396/159779

   Introduction Top

Idiopathic juxtafoveolar retinal telangiectasia is an uncommon retinal vascular malformation with characteristic features. The clinical and angiographic features and classification were first described by Gass and Oyakawa in 1982 and further reclassified by Gass and Blodi in 1993. [1] Yannuzzi et al., added the optical coherence tomography (OCT) features to a modification of the original classification by Gass and called the lesions idiopathic macular telangiectasia (IMT). [2] Type 1 IMT or aneurysmal telangiectasia is characterized by predominantly unilateral capillary, venular and arteriolar aneurysms, and telangiectatic abnormalities in the juxtafoveal region, seen more commonly in males. They may be associated with fluid and/or lipid leakage into the macula. Retinal arterial macroaneurysms (RAM) are also seen in cases of type 1 IMT. Considering their unilateral involvement and male predominance, Gass suggested that these vascular telangiectasis are developmental in origin and represent one end of the spectrum of Coats syndrome. [1]

   Case Report Top

A 50-year-old, nondiabetic, nonhypertensive Indian male reported with incidentally noted defective vision of 6 months duration in the right eye. His best-corrected visual acuity was 20/200 in the right eye and 20/20 in the left eye. The anterior segment examination was unremarkable. Retinal examination in his right eye revealed multiple telangiectatic vessels in the perifoveal region with associated cystoid macular edema (CME). The first order retinal arterioles showed multiple RAMs, with evidence of a small retinal hemorrhage surrounding the RAM along the inferotemporal vessel. Fundus fluorescein angiography (FFA) revealed distorted perifoveal capillary network with multiple dilated telangiectatic outpouchings [Figure 1], with associated late leakage. The left eye retina and FFA were within normal limits. OCT of the right eye showed CME, for which he received intravitreal bevacizumab (Avastin, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, CA; 1.25 mg/0.05 cc). The gentleman had been seen by another ophthalmologist 6 months prior and a previous fundus angiogram showed similar findings as noted by us. He underwent a thorough systemic workup including a complete blood count, blood sugars, serum lipid profile, coagulation profile, and all parameters were within normal limits. A cardiologist opinion including a carotid doppler examination did not reveal any significant structural changes in the vascular network of the head and neck. His blood pressure was checked previously and at all visits and was within normal limits for his age.
Figure 1: (a) Color fundus photo of the right eye showing idiopathic macular telangiectasia type 1 with retinal arterial macroaneurysms (RAM) along superior and inferior arcade, with cystoid macular edema. (b) Early phase fundus fluorescein angiography (FFA) showing macular telangiectasia with RAM (solid white arrow). (c) Late phase FFA showing leak from macular telangiectasia

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However, on review, the patient reported seeing "a central black spot" in the field of vision, which was noticed almost immediately following the injection. His retinal examination revealed a ruptured RAM along the inferotemporal arcade with resultant sub-internal limiting membrane, subretinal, and intraretinal bleed, corroborated on OCT [Figure 2]. His CME was persistent and hence intravitreal bevacizumab was repeated. Pneumatic displacement of the subretinal blood was not contemplated as the hemorrhage was old.
Figure 2: (a) Color fundus after bevacizumab injection showing ruptured retinal arterial macroaneurysms along inferotemporal arcade with multilevel hemorrhage. (b) Optical coherence tomography showing subretinal hemorrhage (solid white arrow) with persistent cystoid macular edema

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Fundus fluorescein angiography was repeated 3 months after the second injection and it showed considerable, though not complete reduction in leakage from the perifoveal telangiectasis. There was persistent CME as documented by OCT. Further injections were withheld as there was no significant improvement in his clinical picture. On final follow-up, 10 months after the rupture of the RAM, his best-corrected visual acuity was maintained at 20/200 and the retinal and subretinal hemorrhages were resolving. There were hard exudates in the macular area and foveal thinning documented by OCT [Figure 3].
Figure 3: (a) Optical coherence tomography at 10 months showing foveal thinning and a detached internal limiting membrane. (b) Color fundus at final visit showing macular hard exudates with sclerosed retinal arterial macroaneurysms

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   Discussion Top

Type 1 IMT is a rare vascular disease, which makes it difficult to decide an optimal treatment as various modalities cannot be evaluated in a controlled randomized protocol and hence guidelines on treatment are not well defined. Gass described a good visual outcome after focal laser to the leaking telangiectatic capillaries. This prevented further leakage and helped preserve the visual function. [1] Subsequently in the era of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pharmacotherapy, bevacizumab has also been used the treatment of leaking telangiectasia in this group. [3]

The telangiectatic vessels in IMT type 1 are congenital in origin. This can explain the poor response to bevacizumab in terms of persistent leakages and cystoid spaces. It also prompts reconsideration for the use of intravitreal anti-VEGF pharmacotherapy in this condition whose pathology is poorly understood.

The treatment strategies for RAM are also not well defined. General guidelines state that unruptured RAMs should be observed, subhyaloid or vitreal hemorrhage should be treated with laser disruption of the posterior hyaloid or vitrectomy as applicable. RAMs with exudation into the macular area can be treated by gentle laser photocoagulation either directly to the RAM or to the surrounding retinal capillary bed. Intraretinal and subretinal hemorrhages are generally observed. [4] Pneumatic displacement of large submacular hemorrhages with adjunctive intravitreal tissue plasminogen activator has been described and is best effective within less than 10 days from occurrence of symptoms. [5]

Two types of RAMs, saccular or blowout and fusiform or cuffed have been described. The saccular type, as seen in our case are more prone for rupture. [6] This is more evident in hypertensive patients due to increased hydrostatic pressure. [7] Our patient was normotensive. His blood parameters and a detailed physician evaluation were not suggestive of any associated underlying systemic disorder. The RAM in this case is part of the spectrum of IMT type 1 and not age-related or secondary to hypertension.

The macular edema in our patient was due to diffuse leakage from the telangiectasia of the perifoveal vasculature. We deferred laser and went ahead with intravitreal pharmacotherapy as the leak was diffuse and there was slight enlargement of his foveal avascular zone. In our case, the preexisting RAM had shown evidence of intraretinal hemorrhage in a small area surrounding the lesion prior to treatment. The hemorrhage increased significantly following the intravitreal injection of bevacizumab. We postulate that fibrous changes in the already weak vessel wall could have been precipitated by bevacizumab. The resulting contraction of the vessel wall could have led to the rupture of the RAM. Another possibility is the increase in intravitreal volume during injections, which can increase shearing forces on the weak vessel wall of the aneurysm leading to its rupture. A similar hypothesis concerning the action of intravitreal ranibizumab was postulated by Cornish and Harvey as a cause of retinal pigment epithelial tear following intravitreal ranibizumab. [8]

To the best of our knowledge and a detailed literature search, we could not find any reported cases of ruptured RAM post intravitreal injections. Rupture of a RAM with submacular hemorrhage can have adverse outcomes on the final visual acuity. It is possible that the rupture of the RAM might be coincidental and due to the natural history of the condition. However, even though a causal association between intravitreal injection and macroaneurysm rupture cannot be made with certainty in our case, the fact that the patient had these vascular abnormalities, presumably for many years without spontaneous rupture, warrants consideration.

   References Top

Gass JD, Blodi BA. Idiopathic juxtafoveolar retinal telangiectasis. Update of classification and follow-up study. Ophthalmology 1993;100:1536-46.  Back to cited text no. 1
Yannuzzi LA, Bardal AM, Freund KB, Chen KJ, Eandi CM, Blodi B. Idiopathic macular telangiectasia. Arch Ophthalmol 2006;124:450-60.  Back to cited text no. 2
Rouvas A, Malamos P, Douvali M, Ntouraki A, Markomichelakis NN. Twelve months of follow-up after intravitreal injection of ranibizumab for the treatment of idiopathic parafoveal telangiectasia. Clin Ophthalmol 2013;7:1357-62.  Back to cited text no. 3
Moosavi RA, Fong KC, Chopdar A. Retinal artery macroaneurysms: Clinical and fluorescein angiographic features in 34 patients. Eye (Lond) 2006;20:1011-20.  Back to cited text no. 4
Rishi E, Gopal L, Rishi P, Sengupta S, Sharma T. Submacular hemorrhage: A study amongst Indian eyes. Indian J Ophthalmol 2012;60:521-5.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Abdel-Khalek MN, Richardson J. Retinal macroaneurysm: Natural history and guidelines for treatment. Br J Ophthalmol 1986;70:2-11.  Back to cited text no. 6
Suzuma I, Hata Y, Clermont A, Pokras F, Rook SL, Suzuma K, et al. Cyclic stretch and hypertension induce retinal expression of vascular endothelial growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2: Potential mechanisms for exacerbation of diabetic retinopathy by hypertension. Diabetes 2001;50:444-54.  Back to cited text no. 7
Cornish KS, Harvey R. Immediate loss of vision due to retinal pigment epithelial tear after anti-angiogenesis treatment of pigment epithelial detachment. Digit J Ophthalmol 2011;17:38-9.  Back to cited text no. 8


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]

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1 Bevacizumab
Reactions Weekly. 2015; 1576(1): 60
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