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Felix Treumer, Nina Wacker, Olaf Junge, Jürgen Hedderich, Johann Roider, Jost Hillenkamp; Foveal Structure and Thickness of Retinal Layers Long-Term after Surgical Peeling of Idiopathic Epiretinal Membrane. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(2):744-750. doi: 10.1167/iovs.10-6310.
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To better understand the long-term effect of idiopathic epiretinal membrane peeling on retinal anatomy, the foveal structure and the thickness of individual retinal layers were analyzed with frequency-domain optical coherence tomography (fdOCT). The long-term postoperative course of macular thickness was followed.
fdOCT scans were obtained from the horizontal midline in 33 eyes long-term (mean 46 ± 13 months) after surgery and in 30 eyes of age-matched controls. Raw images were exported, and the thickness of retinal layers was measured with a manual segmentation procedure aided by a customized computer program. Macular thickness was quantified over time with the time-domain (td) OCT Fast Macular Thickness program.
Thickness of retinal layers between the outer nuclear and the ganglion cell plus inner plexiform layers in the horizontal midline of the fovea and the nasal parafovea was greater than normal, whereas that of the RPE, photoreceptor, and retinal nerve fiber layers was not different from controls. Twelve of 33 eyes had a foveal pit though the median foveal shape was distorted. Central macular thickness quantified with tdOCT remained increased, whereas the decrease of nasal macular thickness toward normal values was incomplete and delayed to 35 months after surgery. Superior, temporal, and inferior macular thickness returned to normal 12 to 14 months after surgery.
Long-term after surgery, the fovea and the nasal parafovea remain thickened between the outer nuclear layer and the ganglion cell layer, whereas the superior, temporal, and inferior macular thickness returns to normal. Long-term observations are required in the assessment of macular recovery from mechanical stress.
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