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Turk J Ophthalmol. 2019 Sep 3;49(4):201-208. doi: 10.4274/tjo.galenos.2019.00400.

Pneumatic Vitreolysis for the Treatment of Vitreomacular Traction Syndrome

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University of Health Sciences, Ulucanlar Eye Training and Research Hospital, Ophthalmology Clinic, Ankara, Turkey
Gazi University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology, Ankara, Turkey



To evaluate the posterior vitreous release rates after a single injection of expansile gas in patients with vitreomacular traction (VMT) syndrome with or without associated full-thickness macular hole (FTMH).

Materials and Methods:

Thirteen eyes of 12 consecutive patients with VMT (11 eyes) or VMT+FTMH (2 eyes) were reviewed retrospectively. Intravitreal injection of 0.3 mL of pure sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) (9 eyes) or perfluoropropane (C3F8) (4 eyes) was performed. Bobbing the head forward and backward similar to ‘drinking bird’ head movements was instructed until VMT release. Full ophthalmic examination and optical coherence tomography was performed at each visit.


VMT was released in all patients (100%) and mean release time was 5.2 days (1-19 days). Macular hole closure was not achieved in either of the two eyes with FTMH. Mean central subfield thickness decreased significantly from 361 μm to 263 μm (p=0.007). The mean pretreatment visual acuity was 0.44 LogMAR, which significantly improved to 0.25 LogMAR at the last visit (p=0.003). One of 13 eyes had retinal tear after the procedure which was successfully treated with laser retinopexy. Gas migration to the anterior chamber occurred in one patient. No other complications were observed.


Pneumatic vitreolysis with C3F8 and SF6 gases is a relatively safe, low-cost, and minimally invasive treatment modality for VMT. However, FTMH closure could not be achieved with pneumatic vitreolysis.


Vitreomacular traction; macular hole; pneumatic vitreolysis; SF6; C3F8

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