Macular cysts in retinal dystrophy

Anuradha Ganesh, Eliza Stroh, George J. Manayath, Sana Al-Zuhaibi, Alex V. Levin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To describe the entity of macular cysts in retinal dystrophy, differentiate it from cystoid macular edema (CME), and review the role of carbonic anhydrase inhibitors in management. RECENT FINDINGS: Macular cysts in retinal dystrophy are seen in retinopathies caused by mutations in the NR2E3 gene, juvenile X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS), and some other retinal dystrophies. These must be distinguished from CME. Optical coherence tomography can clearly demonstrate intraretinal cysts which may not be clinically detectable. Intravenous fluorescein angiography (IVFA) does not show macular hyperfluorescence (i.e. leakage). Molecular genetic testing aids in the diagnosis and elucidation of pathophysiology. Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors may promote resolution of the cysts resulting in visual improvement. SUMMARY: Non-CME macular cysts in retinal dystrophies can be differentiated from CME by a combination of clinical examination, IVFA, and molecular genetic testing to identify causative phenotype. Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors may be effective in promoting resolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-339
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Ophthalmology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011


  • NR2E3 retinopathy
  • X-linked retinoschisis
  • carbonic anhydrase inhibitors
  • fluorescein angiography
  • macular cyst
  • retinal dystrophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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