Merck Manual

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Epiretinal Membrane

(Macular Pucker; Cellophane Maculopathy; Premacular Fibrosis)


Sonia Mehta

, MD, Vitreoretinal Diseases and Surgery Service, Wills Eye Hospital, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University

Medically Reviewed Apr 2022 | Modified Sep 2022
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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 and optical coherence tomography.

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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NOTE: This is the Professional Version. CONSUMERS: View Consumer Version
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