Vitrectomy for epiretinal membranes with good visual acuity

John T. Thompson, George W. Blankenship, David L. Guyton, William S. Tasman, Carol L. Shields, Gary C. Brown, Alan H. Friedman

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Abstract

Purpose: To evaluate the visual results of vitrectomy for epiretinal membrane in eyes with a preoperative visual acuity of 20/50 or better. Methods: The visual results and complications were analyzed following vitrectomy for idiopathic epiretinal membranes and epiretinal membranes secondary to retinal tears. This study was a retrospective, consecutive case series of 40 eyes of 40 patients treated by a single surgeon. Results: The mean preoperative visual acuity was 20/50 +2 (range, 20/30 +1 to 20/50 -3). The mean visual acuity improved to 20/40 +2 (P = .02) by the final examination at a mean of 2.4 years following surgery. The status of the lens at the final examination was correlated with the visual results of surgery. Twenty-one eyes were phakic preoperatively, and 14 of these eyes had cataracts removed by the final examination. The mean preoperative visual acuity in seven eyes that were still phakic at the final examination was 20/50, and this decreased to 20/50 -2 (P = .82). The mean preoperative visual acuity was 20/50 +2 in 33 eyes that were pseudophakic by the final examination, and this improved to 20/32 -2 (P = .005). The visual acuity improved by 2 or more Snellen lines in only one in seven eyes (14%) that were still phakic on the final examination and in 14 of 33 eyes (42.4%) that were pseudophakic by the final examination. There were no serious surgical complications. Conclusions: Vitrectomy for epiretinal membranes is beneficial in eyes with relatively good preoperative visual acuities, but cataract surgery is necessary in phakic eyes to achieve long-term visual acuity improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-105
Number of pages9
JournalTransactions of the American Ophthalmological Society
Volume102
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

Cite this

Thompson, J. T., Blankenship, G. W., Guyton, D. L., Tasman, W. S., Shields, C. L., Brown, G. C., & Friedman, A. H. (2004). Vitrectomy for epiretinal membranes with good visual acuity. Transactions of the American Ophthalmological Society, 102, 97-105.