Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of lattice retinal degeneration (LRD) in a primary eye care population and to compare this prevalence to that of other studies reported from selected populations. In addition, the percentage of unilateral and bilateral cases was to be determined.
Methods: A prospective study design was conceived to examine 600 consecutive patients presenting to the UABSO Primary Care Clinics. Each patient had been appointed for general eye examination. The following data were collected contemporaneously over six months from September 1993 to March 1994: demographics, medical and ocular history; refractive correction (calculated and recorded as spherical equivalent, SE); best-corrected visual acuity; and the presence and features of all ocular fundus findings, as evaluated through a dilated pupil.
Results: Of the 600 patients examined, 31 (5.2%) had LRD. Subjects ranged in age from 14 to 78 years (mean, 37.4 +/- 17.9 yrs.). Seventeen (55%) of the patients were white and 14 (45%) were black; 21 patients (68%) were female and 14 (32%) were male. The mean refractive correction (SE) was -1.77 D (range, +2.25 to -8.00 D). The lesions were bilateral in 19 (61.3%) of the patients; unilateral in 12 (38.7%). LRD lesions were observed in the vertical meridian (within 30 degrees of 6 or 12 o'clock) in all patients.
Conclusions: The prevalence of LRD in a primary eye care population is comparable to that reported from other, selected populations. The proportion of bilateral cases in our material was greater than that from some other studies. Another item of note from the present data was exclusively vertical geographic location. We attribute the greater prevalence of bilateral cases in this material to the nature of the eye care delivery system.