The Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology

Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology:

Issue 6, November/December 2016 Review Article

Pathologic Myopia

Ohno-Matsui, Kyoko

Author Information

From the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan.

Reprints: Kyoko Ohno-Matsui, MD, PhD, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, 1-5-45 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 1138519, Japan. E-mail:


Pathologic myopia (PM) is the only myopia that causes the loss of best-corrected visual acuity. The main reason for best-corrected visual acuity loss is complications specific to PM, such as myopic maculopathy, myopic traction maculopathy, and myopic optic neuropathy (or glaucoma). The meta-analyses of the PM study group (META-PM study) made a classification system for myopic maculopathy. On the basis of this study, PM has been defined as eyes having atrophic changes equal to or more severe than diffuse atrophy. Posterior staphyloma and eye deformity are important causes of developing vision-threatening complications. Posterior staphyloma is unique to PM, except for inferior staphyloma due to tilted disc syndrome. It is defined as an outpouching of the wall of the eye that has a radius of curvature that is less than the surrounding curvature of the wall of the eye. The mechanical load onto the important region for central vision (optic nerve and macula) is not comparable between eyes with and without posterior staphyloma. Three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging is a powerful tool to analyze the entire shape of the eye. When ultra-widefield optical coherence tomography is available, it is expected to be a new tool that will surpass 3-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging. In the future, preventive therapies targeting staphyloma and eye deformity are expected before vision-threatening complications develop and it is too late for patients.

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