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Retina. 2009 Sep;29(8):1119-27. doi: 10.1097/IAE.0b013e3181ac23da.

Anatomic and functional outcome after 23-gauge vitrectomy, peeling, and intravitreal triamcinolone for idiopathic macular epiretinal membrane.

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Hôpital Ophtalmique Jules Gonin, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.



To report both the functional and anatomic outcome and safety profile of 23-gauge pars plana vitrectomy combined with membrane peeling and intravitreal injection of triamcinolone acetonide in eyes with idiopathic macular epiretinal membranes.


Retrospective study of 39 consecutive patients who underwent 23-gauge transconjunctival sutureless vitrectomy, membrane peeling, and intravitreal triamcinolone acetonide injection for an idiopathic macular epiretinal membrane between February 2007 and February 2008. Minimum follow-up was 6 months.


Thirty-nine eyes of 39 patients were included in the study. The mean follow-up was 7 +/- 2.2 months (range, 6-15 months). Twenty-two eyes (56%) were pseudophakic and 17 (44%) were phakic at the time of surgery. Five of the phakic eyes (29.4%) had worsening of cataracts during the follow-up period. Mean preoperative intraocular pressure was 14 +/- 3.5 mmHg. At the final follow-up, mean intraocular pressure was 14.5 +/- 2.7 mmHg, which did not differ significantly from the intraocular pressure at baseline (P = 0.14, two-tailed t-test). Five (13%) patients needed topical antiglaucoma treatment. Mean preoperative best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was 0.28 decimal equivalent (20/71 Snellen equivalent; logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution 0.54 +/- 0.2, range: 1.0-0.2) and improved significantly (P < 0.0001, two-tailed t-test) to a mean of 0.6 decimal equivalent (20/33 Snellen equivalent; logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution 0.22 +/- 0.16, range: 0.6-0) at the final follow-up. The BCVA improved by a mean of 3.2 +/- 2.1 lines (range: 0-8). Twenty-nine patients (74%) demonstrated a gain of > or =3 lines. Mean central macular thickness was 456 +/- 77 microm (mean +/- SD) at baseline, which was significantly reduced at the final follow-up to 327 +/- 79 microm (mean +/- SD; P < 0.0001, two-tailed t-test). Average central macular thickness reduction was 131 +/- 77 microm (mean +/- SD; range: 36-380 microm). A subgroup analysis of 15 selected cases, which had central macular thickness and BCVA measurements after the first postoperative week, demonstrated that 84% of the total final reduction in central macular thickness and 84% of the total final improvement in BCVA occurred already during the first postoperative week.


Twenty-three-gauge sutureless transconjunctival vitrectomy is a safe and effective technique for the treatment of idiopathic macular epiretinal membranes. The concomitant administration of intravitreal triamcinolone acetonide after pars plana vitrectomy may speed up and improve the anatomic and functional outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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