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Epiretinal Membrane

(Macular Pucker; Cellophane Maculopathy; Premacular Fibrosis)

by Sunir J. Garg, MD, FACS

Epiretinal membrane is formation of a thin, fibrotic membrane over the retina that contracts, wrinkling the underlying retina and interfering with vision.

Epiretinal membrane typically occurs after age 50 and is most common among people > 75.

Risk factors for epiretinal membrane are the following:

  • Diabetic retinopathy

  • Uveitis

  • Retinal tear or detachment

  • Ocular injury

Most cases are idiopathic.

Symptoms may include blurred vision or distorted vision (eg, straight lines may appear wavy). Many patients say that it seems like they are looking through plastic wrap or cellophane. Diagnosis is by funduscopy. Fluorescein angiography and optical coherence tomography may also be helpful.

Most people need no treatment. If problems with vision are significant, the membrane can be removed surgically with vitrectomy and membrane peel.

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