Image featuring icons related to myopic choroidal neovascularisation

Understanding myopic choroidal neovascularisation

Published 28 August 2019 

Myopic choroidal neovascularisation (mCNV) is a common, vision-threatening complication of pathological myopia, or severe short-sightedness.1

When a person is severely short-sighted, their eyes grow too long from back to front, which leads to areas of the retina that are prone to breaking. The retina is a part of the eye that sends information to the brain enabling sight.

As a result, new abnormal blood vessels can grow underneath the retina, leaking blood and fluid, causing damage and vision loss.2

Global burden

Image depicting global burden of short-sightedness

Pathological myopia is estimated at a prevalence of 2.8% of the population.3 mCNV occurs in one-in-ten people with pathological myopia.

More than 30% of people with mCNV in one eye are likely to develop it in their other eye within eight years.1

Risk factors1

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Age
most common in 45-64 year olds

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Race
more common in people of East Asian descent

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Gender
women have double the risk

Image of glasses

Pathological myopia

Signs and symptoms2

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Blurred vision

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Distorted view of objects and lines

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Difficulty distinguishing between colours

Central vision loss depicted over image of an eye

A rapid progression of central vision loss (within a day or a few weeks)

Impact of myopic choroidal neovascularisation

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Impaired vision can impact:5

  • The ability to carry out everyday tasks
  • The ability to work
  • The ability to lead an active social life
  • Quality of life, with increased social isolation, depression and anxiety disorders

When untreated, 89% of people with mCNV have a visual acuity of 20/200 – the threshold for legal blindness – or worse after five years.4 Healthy vision is 20/20.

Annual eye test

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Getting an annual eye test is the best way to detect any changes in vision. A dilated retinal examination will help to diagnose any retinal diseases. If you’d like more information on mCNV or other retinal diseases, talk to your optician or visit www.retina-international.org/.

References

  1. LUCENTIS. What is mCNV (Myopic Chorodial Neovascularization). [Internet; cited May 2019]. Available from: https://www.lucentis.com/mcnv/learn-about.html
  2. Fort Lauderdale Eye Institute. Choroidal Neovascularization. [Internet; cited May 2019]. Available from: https://flei.com/choroidal-neovascularization/
  3. World Health Organisation. The impact of myopia and high myopia. [Internet; cited May 2019]. Available from: http://www.who.int/blindness/causes/MyopiaReportforWeb.pdf
  4. Retina Today. GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES: Advances in Diagnosis and Treatment of Pathologic Myopia. [Internet; cited May 2019]. Available from: http://retinatoday.com/2011/08/global-perspectives-advances-in-diagnosis-and-treatment-of-pathologic-myopia/
  5. Park SJ, Ahn S, Woo SJ, et al. Extent of Exacerbation of Chronic Health Conditions by Visual Impairment in Terms of Health-Related Quality of Life. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2015; 133:1267-1275.

Tags: Science, Ophthalmology