Idiopathic Epiretinal Membranes: Ultrastructural Characteristics and Clinicopathologic Correlation

William E. Smiddy, Albert M. Maguire, W. Richard Green, Ronald G. Michels, Zenaida De La Cruz, Cheryl Enger, Michelle Jaeger, Thomas A. Rice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

194 Scopus citations


Curret theories of idiopathic epiretinal membrane (ERM) pathogenesis, based mainly on clinical and autopsy studies, emphasize a glial tissue origin. The clinical and ultrastructural features of 101 cases of idiopathic ERMs removed from the macular area during vitrectomy were studied. The predominant cell type was retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) in 51 cases, fibrous astrocytes in 29 cases, fibrocytes in 14 cases, and myofibroblasts in 7 cases. Features of myofibroblastic differentiation were present in 64 cases. Myofibrocytes were more common in younger patients with shorter duration of symptoms. Fibrous astrocytes were more common in females. The high incidence of RPE cells in this series raises new questions regarding the pathogenesis of idiopathic ERMs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)811-821
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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