Congenital Fibrovascular Pupillary Membranes: Clinical and Histopathologic Findings

Department of Ophthalmology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.
Ophthalmology (Impact Factor: 6.14). 12/2011; 119(3):634-41. DOI: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2011.08.043
Source: PubMed


To report the clinical and histopathologic findings associated with congenital fibrovascular pupillary membranes.
Case series.
Seven infants were included, 6 with a unilateral congenital pupillary membrane and 1 with classic persistent fetal vasculature (PFV).
Patients underwent a membranectomy, pupilloplasty, or lensectomy. Histopathologic examination was performed on the excised membranes.
Visual acuity and pupil size.
Four of the 6 patients with a unilateral congenital pupillary membrane had 1 or more recurrences after a membranectomy and pupilloplasty. The most recent pupil size ranged from 2 to 5 mm in the affected eye. When last tested, the vision in the affected eye was excellent in 4 of the 6 patients. The 2 patients without recurrences of the pupillary membranes underwent multiple iris sphincterotomies at the time of the initial surgery. Histopathologic examination of 2 primary pupillary membranes showed fibrovascular tissue that did not stain for neuron-specific enolase. Smooth muscle actin was only present in vascular walls. In contrast, histopathology of a recurrent pupillary membrane revealed collagenized fibrovascular tissue that was immunoreactive for smooth muscle actin. Finally, histopathology of the retrolenticular membrane excised from an infant with classic PFV was similar to the latter aside from hypercellularity.
Congenital fibrovascular pupillary membranes in infants are likely a variant of PFV that may recur if incompletely excised. The risk of these membranes recurring may be reduced by excising as much as the membrane as possible and enlarging the pupil with iris sphincterotomies. A lensectomy should be avoided if possible.

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