PURPOSE: To describe the indocyanine green angiographic pattern of retinal pigment epithelium tears in the setting of age-related macular degeneration compared with the fluorescein angiographic features. METHODS: Twelve consecutive patients (12 eyes) with a retinal pigment epithelium tear underwent simultaneous indocyanine green angiography and fluorescein angiography with the confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope. The findings for the two modes were compared. RESULTS: Choroidal neovascular membrane was evident beneath the rolled retinal pigment epithelium on indocyanine green angiograms in 11(92%) of 12 eyes: a focal neovascular membrane was apparent in five (42%) of 12 eyes, whereas a plaque neovascular membrane was seen in six (50%) of 12 eyes. In comparison, fluorescein angiography demonstrated late leakage as a result of occult choroidal neovascular membrane in nine (82%) of 11 eyes but no well-defined choroidal neovascular membrane. CONCLUSIONS: Indocyanine green angiography is superior to fluorescein angiography for imaging choroidal neovascularization in cases of retinal pigment epithelium tear and may serve as an important adjunct to indocyanine green-guided laser treatment in selected cases. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Inc.