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Ophthalmology. 1986 Jul;93(7):978-83.

Surgical management of idiopathic epiretinal membranes.


The authors reviewed 33 consecutive cases of idiopathic epiretinal membranes removed by vitreous surgical techniques. Visual acuity improved in 79% of surgically treated eyes. In uncomplicated cases, a 47% gain in visual acuity was achieved. Of those eyes that had improved visual acuity post-operatively, 82.5% of the final visual acuity returned by four to eight weeks post-operatively. Eyes with opaque membranes had visual acuity results no worse than those with translucent membranes. Eyes with no pre-operative cystoid edema had better visual acuity results than eyes with cystoid macular edema (CME), although no statistically significant difference was shown. Surgical removal of membranes decreased fluorescein dye leakage in 30% of eyes; while no change in post-operative leakage was noted in 60%, one eye had increased CME post-operatively. Complications included development of nuclear sclerotic cataract, retinal breaks, retinal detachment, and one case of pigment epithelial/retinal burn from the endoilluminator, residual and recurrent membrane formation, and anterior ischemic optic neuropathy.

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