Map Dot Fingerprint Dystrophy


What is Map Dot Fingerprint Dystrophy?



Map Dot Fingerprint Dystrophy (MDF) is a hereditary disease of the “epithelium” or anterior “skin” of the cornea. Multiple names are used to describe this condition such as epithelial membrane dystrophy, Cogan’s microcystic dystrophy, or anterior membrane dystrophy. Irregularity within the basement membrane of the epithelium leads to skin containing an irregular “fingerprint” or “map like” pattern sometimes containing cystic “dots”.

MDF Irregular Epithelium

MDF Fingerprint

MDF Dots





Blurred or variable vision

Changes in prescription

Painful erosions of the epithelium





Diagnosis usually occurs with a slit lamp examination of the cornea. In its earliest of stages, MDF can be subtle and is often missed without careful examination. Corneal Topography can aid in the diagnosis with characteristic irregular astigmatism from the irregular epithelium.





Treatment depends on the severity of symptoms.  Early on MDF can just be monitored and does not require treatment.  If/When patient’s vision becomes limited or painful erosions ensue removal of the irregular epithelium can be attempted.


Map Dot Fingerprint Dystrophy