Prevalence of idiopathic macular hole in adult rural and urban south Indian population


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Dr Parveen Sen, Bhagwan Mahavir Vitreo-Retinal Services, Sankara Nethralaya, 18 College Road, Chennai – 600006 Tamil Nadu, India. Email:


Background:  This study was undertaken to evaluate the prevalence of idiopathic macular hole in a defined community in Southern India.

Methods:  In all, 7774 of the 9546 enumerated (81.43%) subjects availed themselves for an ophthalmic assessment which included a detailed ophthalmic examination and fundus photography. All data were entered and stored in a secure computerized database and statistical analysis was performed using spss for Windows.

Results:  Thirteen subjects comprising six males and seven females were diagnosed with macular holes equating to a risk of 0.17%. Bilateral macular holes were found in two subjects. The mean age of subjects with a macular hole was 67 years. Increasing age and history of cataract surgery was strongly associated with an increased prevalence of macular holes (< 0.0001). There was no difference in the prevalence of macular hole between the rural and urban communities. The mean logMAR visual acuity of subjects in the eye with a macular hole was 1.31 ± 0.45 whereas the acuity in the unaffected fellow eye was 0.70 ± 0.51. The mean spherical equivalent in the subjects with macular hole was −0.56 ± 1.92 (−4.25 to +1.00).

Conclusion:  Prevalence rate of idiopathic macular hole in South India appears to be comparable to that seen worldwide.