Map-Dot-Fingerprint Dystrophy

Closeup of An EyeThis dystrophy occurs when the epithelium’s basement membrane develops abnormally (the basement membrane serves as the foundation on which the epithelial cells, which absorb nutrients from tears, anchor and organize themselves). When the basement membrane develops abnormally, the epithelial cells cannot properly adhere to it. This, in turn, causes recurrent epithelial erosion, in which the epithelium’s outermost layer rises slightly, exposing a small gap between the outermost layer and the rest of the cornea.

Epithelial erosions can be a chronic problem. They may alter the cornea’s normal curvature, causing periodic blurred vision. They may also expose the nerve endings that line the tissue, resulting in moderate to severe pain lasting as long as several days. Generally, the pain will be worse on awakening in the morning. Other symptoms include sensitivity to light, excessive tearing, and foreign body sensation in the eye.

Map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy, which tends to occur in both eyes, usually affects adults between the ages of 40 and 70, although it can develop earlier in life. Also known as epithelial basement membrane dystrophy, map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy gets its name from the unusual appearance of the cornea during an eye examination. Most often, the affected epithelium will have a map-like appearance, i.e., large, slightly gray outlines that look like a continent on a map. There may also be clusters of opaque dots underneath or close to the map-like patches. Less frequently, the irregular basement membrane will form concentric lines in the central cornea that resemble small fingerprints.


View Video


Typically, map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy will flare up occasionally for a few years and then go away on its own, with no lasting loss of vision. Most people never know that they have map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy, since they do not have any pain or vision loss. However, if treatment is needed, doctors will try to control the pain associated with the epithelial erosions. They may patch the eye to immobilize it, or prescribe lubricating eye drops and ointments. With treatment, these erosions usually heal within three days, although periodic flashes of pain may occur for several weeks thereafter. Other treatments include anterior corneal punctures to allow better adherence of cells; corneal scraping to remove eroded areas of the cornea and allow regeneration of healthy epithelial tissue; and use of the excimer laser to remove surface irregularities.

The information provided is from the National Eye Institute.

The Letter I in ItalicsRequest an Appointment Key Iconpatient portal Star Iconreview us online Two People Icondoctors 1-888-eyes-now
Font Resize

Please rate your experience with us

Average Rating: 4.8

Powered by MDidentity

PATIENT INFORMATION

Our Patient Information Center makes it easy for you to do the following:

Map Icon

OUR LOCATIONS

Albuquerque - Northside

5757 Harper Dr NE,
Albuquerque, NM 87109

Albuquerque - Promenade

5200 Eubank NE, Suite A-4 Promenade Center
Albuquerque, NM 87111

Albuquerque - Regina Hall

806 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave.
Albuquerque, NM 87102-3657

Albuquerque - Retina Center

4411 The 25 Way NE, Suite 325
Albuquerque, NM 87109,

Espanola

412 Paseo de Onate St., Suite #2
Espanola, NM 87532

Farmington

622 West Maple, Suite E
Farmington, NM 87401

Gallup

311 East Nizhoni Blvd
Gallup, NM 87301-5791

Las Vegas

248 Mills Ave.
Las Vegas, NM 87701

Los Alamos

1623 Central Avenue
Los Alamos, NM 87544

Los Lunas

1603 Main Street SW, Suite B
Los Lunas, NM 87031

Rio Rancho

1740 Grande Blvd, Suite B
Rio Rancho, NM 87124

Roswell

1606 S.E. Main St.
Roswell, NM 88203

Santa Fe

2947 Rodeo Park East
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Taos

1399 Weimer Rd., Suite 300
Taos, NM 87571