Understanding and defining the characteristics of retinal diseases are crucial steps to ensuring optimal diagnosis and treatment. Clinical decisions should be guided by disease characteristics and should aim to achieve an optimal outcome. In this resource zone, we provide guidance on the characteristics and definitions of various retinal diseases:
- The definition and pathogenesis of pachychoroid in nAMD/PCV
- Characterization of MNV subtypes in AMD to optimize treatment outcomes
Pachychoroid: current concepts on clinical features and pathogenesis
The term “pachychoroid” refers to a phenotype in which functional and structural changes within the choroid are thought to play a key role in the pathogenesis of a spectrum of related retinal disorders known as the “pachychoroid spectrum”.
The Vision Academy’s newly published article in Graefe’s Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology describes the commonalities that are present across pathologies included in the pachychoroid spectrum, and discusses current knowledge on the examination, monitoring, and management of these disorders.
Characterization of MNV subtypes in AMD to optimize treatment outcomes
Defining and differentiating the subtypes of macular neovascularization (MNV) is important in the management of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) in order to ensure optimal response to treatment. A clearly defined classification of MNV can help to predict functional and anatomical outcomes after treatment, thereby facilitating patient management. The Vision Academy has provided expert consensus on the definitions and characteristics of MNV subtypes, and recommendations on differentiating between and tailoring treatment to specific subtypes.
Watch the tutorial video describing the pathophysiology of nAMD and the characterization of its subtypes or click the links below to access the Vision Academy publication, Viewpoint, and slide kit on characterization of MNV subtypes in AMD to optimize treatment outcomes.
VEGFR1 Signaling in Retinal Angiogenesis and Microinflammation
Intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapy can provide fast and sustained improvements in visual acuity and is commonly used to treat retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Anti-VEGF treatments target VEGF ligands, preventing them from binding to and activating VEGF receptors (e.g., VEGFR1 and VEGFR2). VEGFR1 and 2 are implicated in retinal disease, as their activation via VEGF ligands can induce angiogenesis, increase vascular permeability, and result in other disease processes.
As ligand–receptor interactions are more complex for VEGFR1, research has primarily focused on VEGFR2. The Vision Academy has developed a literature summary to succinctly describe the importance of VEGFR1 signaling in retinal disease, based on the publication by Uemura et al published in Progress in Retinal and Eye Research. You can also watch the animation developed to visualize the disease processes associated with VEGFR1 as well as explain why the varying molecular features of anti-VEGF drugs contribute to their unique safety and efficacy profiles.