Anterior Basement Membrane Dystrophy

Anterior Basement Membrane Dystrophy is also called Epithelial Basement Membrane Dystrophy and Map-Dot-Fingerprint Dystrophy. It appears when the epithelium basement membrane develops abnormally so the epithelial cells cannot adhere to it. This causes erosion of the epithelial layer, causing it to rise and expose a gap between that layer and the rest of the cornea

Symptoms of Epithelial Erosion

During an eye exam, Dr. Rapoza may see Anterior Basement Membrane Dystrophy as large, gray outlines, clusters of dots and fingerprint lines that resemble a map. Some patients are unaware this is occurring because there are no symptoms; others will experience:

  • Severe or moderate pain, especially in the morning
  • Temporary vision problems
  • Feeling of foreign object in the eye
  • Light sensitivity
  • Excessive tearing

Treatment for Epithelial Erosion

  • Eye patch to immobilize the eye
  • Lubricating eye drops and ointments
  • Laser treatment
  • Corneal micropuncture
  • Corneal epithelial removing with smoothing of the basement membrane

Many patients with this dystrophy have no symptoms and it does not affect vision. It usually occurs in both eyes and usually affects adults between the ages of 40 and 70. . It can also be a significant contributor to astigmatism and might need to be treated surgically prior to cataract surgery to assure optimal IOL power selection.


Lattice Dystrophy

Lattice Dystrophy is caused by the accumulation of abnormal protein fibers (amyloid deposits) in the middle and anterior stroma of the eye or under the cornea’s outer layer (epithelium). It is most often found in children age two to seven, but it can occur at any time in life.

What does Lattice Dystrophy look like?

Dr. Rapoza uses a microscope to identify Lattice Dystrophy, which appears like clear, comma-shaped dots and filaments that overlap to create a lattice effect. These lines eventually become opaque, larger and impede vision.

If located on the epithelium, the condition becomes recurrent epithelial erosion. These erosions:

  • Expose corneal nerves, causing severe pain, even when blinking
  • Change the cornea’s curvature
  • Result in temporary vision problems
  • Cause light sensitivity

Treatment for Recurrent Epithelial Erosion

  • Eye drops and ointments to reduce pain
  • Bandage contact lens to reduce pain and assist healing
  • Corneal epithelial removing with smoothing of the basement membrane

Corneal Transplant for Lattice Dystrophy

If you have scarring under the epithelium, your vision may be so impaired that a corneal transplant is needed. It’s important to understand that the disease can recur, even in donor corneas.

If you are experiencing any vision problems or eye pain, contact us today to schedule an eye exam in one of our three convenient OCB locations in Boston, Waltham or Danvers, Massachusetts.


Appointments/Scheduling: 800-635-0489