PURPOSE: To evaluate histopathologic features of preretinal tissues removed from eyes with myopic traction maculopathy (MTM). METHODS: We retrospectively studied preretinal tissue specimens from eyes with MTM removed during pars plana vitrectomy. A control group of six idiopathic epiretinal membranes was studied for comparison. RESULTS: Six MTM specimens were studied histopathologically. Outer retinal schisis-like thickening was present in 100% of preoperative optical coherence tomography images; four of the six eyes had subfoveal neurosensory retinal detachment. Postoperative optical coherence tomography images demonstrated complete resolution of the schisis-like appearance in all eyes; a full-thickness macular hole occurred in two of the six eyes. Histopathologic examination disclosed fibrocellular tissue that was strongly positive for glial fibrillary acidic protein, weak to moderately positive for cytokeratin, and weakly positive for smooth muscle actin and CD68. There were no apparent histopathologic or immunohistochemical differences between preretinal tissues from eyes with MTM and idiopathic epiretinal membranes from control eyes. CONCLUSION: The outer retinal schisis-like thickening, commonly associated with subretinal fluid, that characterizes MTM is associated with preretinal tissues that are histopathologically indistinguishable from idiopathic epiretinal membranes. These findings suggest that anteroposterior traction caused by axial elongation rather than a uniquely abnormal cellular process is the etiologic mechanism of MTM.
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