Idiopathic epiretinal membrane management and prognosis: A review

Thalmon R. Campagnoli, William E. Smiddy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Idiopathic epiretinal membrane is one of the most common disorders encountered by vitreoretinal surgeons. While it precise pathogenic mechanism, by definition, is unknown, there are some steps that seem to explain its formation and effects. It is characteristically a semitranslucent, avascular, contractile fibrocellular tissue situated on the internal limiting membrane of the retina. Loss of vision is attributed to a variety of mechanisms, but most prominent and important are the effects of traction forces that may either directly or indirectly compromise macular function. The advent of optical coherence tomography has contributed greatly to the diagnosis and understanding of the pathoanatomy, and may be an important treatment guide, but may also lead the clinician to overattribute visual loss to the epiretinal membrane, possibly prompting unnecessary surgery. It is important to realize that vast majority of afflicted eyes do not develop visual symptoms sufficient to justify intervention. The aim of this review is to provide prognostic and treatment information for management of epiretinal membranes in the optical coherence tomography era.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-561
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Review of Ophthalmology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2 2015


  • ILM peeling
  • epiretinal membrane
  • management
  • optical coherence tomography
  • pharmacologictherapy
  • prognosis
  • risk factors
  • visual outcome
  • vital dyes
  • vitrectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Ophthalmology
  • Optometry


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