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Andrea M. Coppe, Giuliana Lapucci, Guido Ripandelli, Francesca R. Pesci, Luca Buzzonetti, Giancarlo Iarossi; Inner Macular Changes in Fellow Eye of Patients With Unilateral Idiopathic Epiretinal Membrane. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(10):29. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.62.10.29.
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We evaluated a series of fellow eyes (FEs) in patients affected by unilateral idiopathic epiretinal membrane (IERM) with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) and OCT angiography (OCT-A) to determine if a previous defect in the inner retina is present before the mechanical damage to the inner limiting membrane (ILM) caused by posterior vitreous detachment.
In patients with IERM (N = 39), ganglion cell layer (GCL) thickness in FEs was assessed with SD-OCT; in a subgroup (N = 25) the vessel density (VD) at the superficial (SCP) and deep capillary plexus (DCP) was assessed with swept-source OCT-A (SS-OCT-A). These values were then compared with 30 age-matched healthy control eyes (CEs). The statistical analyses used SPSS software version 15.0 (SPSS, Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). Data collected underwent 1-way ANOVA. A level of P < 0.05 was accepted as statistically significant.
The GCL thickness in the FEs was significantly lower than in CEs, with a significant thinning in all sectors except temporal ones (mean P < 0.001, superior P = 0.0002, superonasal P < 0.001, inferonasal P < 0.001, and inferior P = 0.002). The VD was significantly lower in the FEs in all sectors of SCP (mean P = 0.009, inner ring P = 0.028, and outer ring P = 0.007).
GCL and SCP are significantly reduced in the FEs. These data suggest that a vascular defect in the SCP could cause a cellular loss in the inner retina that may determine the cascade events leading to the IERM proliferation; the diagnosis in a preclinical phase could provide a treatment strategy to prevent the progression of the disease.
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