Lattice degeneration is a disease of the eye where peripheral retinal atrophy is in a lattice pattern and may progress to retinal detachment. It is an important cause of retinal detachment in young myopic individuals. The cause is not known but pathology reveals vascular insufficiency resulting in ischemia and fibrosis.
It is present in about 8% of the general population and occurs in about 40% of eyes with retinal detachment. Similar lesions are seen in patients with Marfan syndrome, Stickler sydrome and Ehler-Danlos syndrome, all of which are associated with an increased risk of retinal detachment.
Typical lattice consists of sharply demarcated spindle-shaped areas of retinal thinning usually located between the equator of the retina and the posterior border of the vitreous base. This is more frequently located in the temporal half of the retina and is seen more superiorly than inferiorly.
Atypical lattice is characterised by radial lesions which appear continuous with the peripheral blood vessels. This type is typically seen in patients with Stickler syndrome.
No complications are encountered in most patients with lattice degeneration, however in young myopes, retinal detachment may occur. In eyes with acute PVD (Posterior vitreous detachment), tractional tears may occur which can lead on to a retinal detachment.
Barrage laser is at times done prophylactically around a hole or tear associated with lattice degeneration in an eye at risk of developing a retinal detachment.