Lattice Degeneration

Updated: May 18, 2017
  • Author: Hemang K Pandya, MD; Chief Editor: Andrew A Dahl, MD, FACS  more...
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Overview

Practice Essentials

Lattice degeneration elevates the risk of retinal detachment but does not require treatment if it is asymptomatic.

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Background

Lattice degeneration is a common, atrophic disease of the peripheral retina characterized by oval or linear patches of retinal thinning. [1, 2] The prevalence peaks by the second decade and is believed to be minimally progressive but may be complicated by retinal breaks and retinal detachment. [3]

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Pathophysiology

The pathogenesis of lattice degeneration is not well understood, although several theories have been proposed. [4] Regional maldevelopment or absence of the internal limiting membrane versus abnormal vitreoretinal traction dynamics appear to be the most cogent arguments proposed.

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Epidemiology

Frequency

United States

Lattice degeneration affects approximately 10% of the population and is bilateral in 30-50% of patients who are affected. A variable familial risk may be present on the basis of various autosomal dominant pedigrees. [5] An increased prevalence exists in myopic eyes, and its prevalence may be associated with increasing axial length, reaching 15% in the longest eyes.

International

No information is available regarding the international occurrence of lattice degeneration.

Mortality/Morbidity

See discussion of retinal detachment in History and Physical.

Race

No reported racial differences exist in lattice degeneration.

Sex

No reported sex differences exist in lattice degeneration.

Age

See History regarding early onset and progression with age.

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Prognosis

The prognosis of lattice degeneration is generally good.

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Patient Education

Educate the patient on signs of retinal detachment.

Encourage annual follow-up for dilated eye examinations.

Patients with lattice degeneration need to be made aware of their condition and should be warned about the increased lifetime risk of retinal tears or detachment. They should be advised to see an eye doctor immediately if they develop symptoms of retinal tears or detachments, including new floaters, flashes of light, decreasing vision, or a "curtain" in their vision.

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