Bilaterality of idiopathic macular holes

Mary Lou Lewis, Stephen M. Cohen, William E. Smiddy, J. Donald M. Gass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Scopus citations


·Background: There has been wide variation in estimates of the incidence of bilateral idiopathic macular holes in the literature. This report of a large series of patients with macular holes provides further information regarding incidence of bilaterality, interval between onset in the first and the second eye, and visual outcome. ·Methods: A retrospective chart review was done of 550 patients with idiopathic macular holes examined at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute between 1968 and 1994. The incidence of bilaterality was estimated from 365 patients in whom the fellow eye was normal at the initial examination. The rate of onset in the fellow eye was evaluated by survival analysis. Mean follow-up was 31 months (median 17 months). ·Results: Patients with incomplete macular holes (stage 1, aborted stage 1, lamellar) or full-thickness holes had a 19% incidence of bilaterality at 48 months follow-up. In the subset of 32 patients with full-thickness macular holes in the first eye, 13% developed full-thickness holes in the fellow eye within 48 months. The median interval between the onset in the first and in the second eye was 17.5 months. Visual acuity was excellent and stable in eyes with aborted stage 1 and lamellar holes. The visual acuity in the first eye with full-thickness macular hole decreased to 20/200 or worse in 79% of cases within 36 months' follow-up. ·Conclusions: The incidence of bilaterality and poor visual function in the majority of full-thickness idiopathic macular holes by 3 years' duration should be considered when advising patients and planning management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-245
Number of pages5
JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Bilaterality of idiopathic macular holes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this