Choroidal arteriovenous anastomoses: a hypothesis for the pathogenesis of central serous chorioretinopathy and other pachychoroid disease spectrum abnormalities

Joost Brinks, Elon H. C. van Dijk, Onno C. Meijer, Reinier O. Schlingemann, Camiel J. F. Boon

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The pachychoroid disease spectrum (PDS) includes several chorioretinal diseases that share specific choroidal abnormalities. Although their pathophysiological basis is poorly understood, diseases that are part of the PDS have been hypothesized to be the result of venous congestion. Within the PDS, central serous chorioretinopathy is the most common condition associated with vision loss, due to an accumulation of subretinal fluid in the macula. Central serous chorioretinopathy is characterized by distinct risk factors, most notably a high prevalence in males and exposure to corticosteroids. Interestingly, sex differences and corticosteroids are also strongly associated with specific types of arteriovenous anastomoses in the human body, including dural arteriovenous fistula and surgically created arteriovenous shunts. In this manuscript, we assess the potential of such arteriovenous anastomoses in the choroid as a causal mechanism of the PDS. We propose how this may provide a novel unifying concept on the pathophysiological basis of the PDS, and present cases in which this mechanism may play a role.
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa ophthalmologica
Early online date2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022


  • arteriovenous anastomoses
  • arteriovenous fistula
  • corticosteroids
  • pachychoroid disease spectrum
  • sex differences
  • venous congestion

Cite this