Epidemiology of epiretinal membrane in a large cohort of patients with uveitis

Ophthalmology. 2014 Dec;121(12):2393-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2014.06.015. Epub 2014 Jul 23.


Objective: To identify clinical characteristics associated with the presence of epiretinal membrane (ERM) in patients with uveitis.

Design: Case-control study.

Participants and controls: Five hundred ninety-eight subjects seen in a single tertiary referral clinic between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2011, who were diagnosed with uveitis.

Methods: Spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD OCT) images of all subjects were reviewed to assess for ERM. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to compare characteristics of subjects with ERM (cases) with characteristics of subjects without ERM (controls). A second multivariate analysis assessed the relationship between ERM and visual acuity. Fundus photographs were reviewed to compare SD OCT ascertainment of ERM with photographic ascertainment.

Main outcome measures: Presence or absence of ERM on OCT imaging.

Results: Of 598 uveitic participants, 246 (41%) were found to have ERM in at least 1 eye on SD OCT imaging. The prevalence of ERM by Standardization of Uveitis Nomenclature anatomic subtype was 28.1% for anterior uveitis, 57.0% for intermediate uveitis, and 43.4% for posterior uveitis and panuveitis. Multivariate analysis showed that the following clinical factors were associated significantly with ERM: older age (3% increased risk per year of age; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-1.05), intermediate uveitis (odds ratio [OR], 3.41; 95% CI, 1.67-6.96), posterior uveitis and panuveitis (OR, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.09-3.01), male sex (OR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.05-2.42), and history of cataract surgery (OR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.13-2.79). When adjusted for covariates, eyes with ERM had a mean logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution visual acuity of 0.58 (20/76) versus 0.48 (20/60) in non-ERM eyes (P = 0.039). Of OCT-defined ERMs in this cohort, 38% were not detectable on fundus photographs.

Conclusions: Epiretinal membrane is a common complication of uveitis that is associated with patient age, intermediate uveitis, posterior uveitis, panuveitis, male sex, and previous cataract surgery. It can contribute independently to vision loss in uveitic eyes. In uveitis, OCT is more sensitive than fundus photography for identification of ERM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Epiretinal Membrane / epidemiology*
  • Epiretinal Membrane / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Uveitis / complications*
  • Visual Acuity / physiology