Retina (Philadelphia, Pa.)

Five-year follow-up of macular hole surgery with peeling of the internal limiting membrane: update of a prospective study.

PMID 16829802


To report on long-term results of macular hole surgery with peeling of the internal limiting membrane (ILM) in a prospective nonrandomized study. Sixty-four consecutive patients with a follow-up of at least 36 months were included. Only idiopathic macular holes were included in the study. All patients had undergone standard pars plana vitrectomy with removal of the ILM and intraocular gas tamponade with a 15% hexafluoroethane (C2F6) gas-air mixture followed by a face-down position for at least 5 days. During each follow-up visit, complete clinical examination including determination of best-corrected visual acuity, Goldmann perimetry, and optical coherence tomography was performed. Fifty-two patients were female and 12 were male, and the patients' mean age was 72 years (range, 53-82 years) at the last visit. We observed stage 2 holes in 5 patients, stage 3 holes in 47, and stage 4 holes in 12. The median postoperative follow-up was 62 months (mean, 56 months; range, 36-75 months). Sixty-two patients (97%) were pseudophakic at the last examination: 3 patients (5%) were already pseudophakic at the time of macular hole surgery; a combined procedure was performed on 9 patients (14%); and 50 patients (78%) underwent cataract surgery later. The median follow-up for patients after cataract extraction was 61 months (mean, 56 months; range, 36-75 months). Anatomical closure was achieved in 61 (95%) of 64 patients as confirmed clinically and by optical coherence tomography. No late reopening of a macular hole or formation of epiretinal membranes was observed after successful hole closure. Best-corrected visual acuity improved in 59 (92%) of 64 patients, remained unchanged in 2, and deteriorated in 3. Best-corrected visual acuity improved from a median of 20/100 preoperatively to a median of 20/32 postoperatively (P < 0.001). There was a median gain of 5 lines (range, -6 to 12). The development of visual acuity did not depend on the duration of symptoms, the number of surgeries, or the stage of the macular hole. Macular hole surgery with peeling of the ILM is a very safe procedure, even in the long term. It leads to very good and stable functional and anatomical results.

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Hexafluoroethane, ≥98%