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Pseudoxanthoma Elasticum: Angioid Streaks

Angioid streaks

The jagged orange streaks radiating from the optic disc are called angioid streaks, present in 85% of patients with Pseudoxanthoma elasticum. They signify breaks in Bruch's membrane, an elastic strip that separates retina from choroid. Angioid streaks are important for two reasons:

  • They help identify the systemic disease.
  • They are a warning that new blood vessels may grow into the macula, bleed, and blind.
Therefore, these patients must undergo periodic ophthalmologic examinations. In between, they should be warned to consult an ophthalmologist immediately if they notice sudden blurring or warping of their vision.

Angioid streaks also occur in Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, sickling disorders, and Paget's disease.

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