Purpose: To compare the effect of a long-acting (16% perfluoropropane [C3F8]) versus a short-acting (air) intraocular gas tamponade on visual outcome and macular hole closure rate after vitrectomy and intravitreal instillation of transforming growth factor-beta 2 (TGF-β2) on the macula. Methods: Vitrectomy with removal of the posterior hyaloid fluid-gas exchange with instillation of TGF-β2 was performed in 15 eyes treated with air and 37 eyes treated with 16% C3F8 using identical surgical techniques (mean follow-up, 5.6 months). Results: The macular hole was closed successfully in 36 (97%) of 37 eyes treated with 16% C3F8 and in 8 (53.3%) of 15 eyes treated with air (P = 0.00007). The visual acuity improved by a mean of 3.1 lines on the Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy Study chart for eyes treated with 16% C3F8 and 1.3 lines for eyes treated with air (P = 0.003). Conclusions: A longer duration intraocular gas tamponade from 16% C3F8 gives a much higher rate of successful closure of macular holes and improved visual acuity using vitrectomy and TGF-β2 than does air.
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