Idiopathic macular hole following vitrectomy: Implications for pathogenesis

William J. Lipham, William E. Smiddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Attention to the pathogenesis and clinical features of macular hole formation has increased with the advent of therapy. The purpose of this study is to present three cases that occurred in atypical settings that may have important pathogenic implications. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The authors conducted a retrospective study of three patients who presented with macular holes that developed 10 months to 5.5 years after previous vitrectomy. In each case, the cortical vitreous layer was absent in the region of the macula at the time of operation for the macular hole. RESULTS: The macular hole was successfully sealed and the visual acuity improved in all patients. All three cases in this report lacked an operculum, occurred long after vitreous removal, and had no evidence of any residual cortical vitreous. CONCLUSIONS: Macular hole formation in the absence of cortical vitreous suggests the possibility that the etiology of macular holes may involve a spontaneous umbo dehiscence rather than vitreous-induced surface traction. A mechanism involving a cystic degenerative process is proposed as the cause of atypical and typical macular hole formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-639
Number of pages7
JournalOphthalmic Surgery and Lasers
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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