The back of the eye is the location of many irreversible and debilitating visual impairments.


i. Drug is compartmentalized in the suprachoroidal space, keeping it away from non-diseased tissues and entirely behind the visual field.


Fluid spreads circumferentially and posteriorly when injected within the suprachoroidal space, bathing the choroid, retina and adjacent areas with drug

The suprachoroidal space is a potential space that traverses the circumference of the eye’s posterior region and lies internal to the sclera and external to the choroid.

The innermost layer of the choroid, known as Bruch’s membrane, is compact. The outermost border is more a zone of transition, consisting of several lamellae with variable thickness. Because of its proximity to the choroid, drug delivery through the suprachoroidal space has the potential to reach the retina and the retinal pigment epithelium via the choroid.

The suprachoroidal space is expandable, allowing fluids to enter and exit without disruption

The suprachoroidal space is primarily in a collapsed state under typical physiological conditions, primarily due to intraocular pressure (IOP). The suprachoroidal space plays a role in maintaining IOP via uveoscleral outflow, which is an alternative drainage route for the aqueous humor, and is a natural flow path from the front to the back of the eye.

Due to its role in maintaining IOP, the suprachoroidal space has the potential to expand and contract in response to the presence of fluid. In animal models,* the suprachoroidal space has been reported to expand to accommodate different volumes. The maximal thickness ranged from 1.7-2.8 mm, depending on injection volumes. On injection, the suprachoroidal space expands locally, then rapidly empties into the posterior region of the eye. Within an hour post-injection, IOP returns to baseline and the suprachoroidal space contracts.

*Based on studies of adult porcine and canine ex vivo eyes.

Treatments that target retina disease through the vitreous space, such as intravitreal injections, have the potential to diffuse toward nontarget regions of the eye, such as the lens and ciliary body.


Imaging the size of the suprachoroidal space may help diagnose and monitor ocular conditions

Initially, it was thought that the inner border of the sclera is the outer boundary of the choroid. However, recent imaging studies have shown that the suprachoroidal space increases with age and the presence of certain ocular conditions. Although the exact relationship between the size of the suprachoroidal space and retinal diseases has not been fully elucidated, it may become another parameter that will be useful for their diagnosis and follow-up.

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) scan showing the suprachoroidal space

Enhanced depth imaging (EDI)—OCT made it possible to clearly image not only the retina but the layers underneath it.

References: Rai UDJ, Young SA, Thrimawithana TR, et al. The suprachoroidal pathway: a new drug delivery route to the back of the eye. Drug Discov Today. 2015;20(4):491-495. | Moisseiev E, Loewenstein A, Yiu G. The suprachoroidal space: from potential space to a space with potential. Clin Ophthalmol. 2016;10:173-178. | Chiang B, Jung JH, Prausnitz MR. The suprachoroidal space as a route of administration to the posterior segment of the eye. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2018;126:58-66. | Seiler GS, Salmon JH, Mantuo R, Feingold S, Dayton PA, Gilger BC. Effect and distribution of contrast medium after injection into the anterior suprachoroidal space in ex vivo eyes. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011;52(8):5730-5736.