Correlation of visual recovery with presence of photoreceptor inner/outer segment junction in optical coherence images after epiretinal membrane surgery

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Aims:To investigate the relationship between the presence of the photoreceptor inner and outer segment (IS/OS) junction and visual acuity after epiretinal membrane (ERM) surgery.Methods:Seventy eyes of 70 consecutive patients who had undergone vitrectomy for idiopathic ERM were examined by optical coherence tomography before and 3 and 6 months after surgery. The IS/OS junction was graded into three grades. The time course of recovery of the IS/OS junction, central foveal thickness (CFT) and best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) during the postoperative period was studied.Results:A normal IS/OS junction was detected in 47.1% of the eyes before surgery and in 65.7% at 3 months and 75.7% at 6 months after. There was a significant correlation between the IS/OS grade and BCVA before and at 3 and 6 months after the operation (p = 0.0001, p<0.0001, p<0.0001, respectively). The preoperative IS/OS junction grade correlated significantly with BCVA at 6 months (p = 0.0239). CFT did not correlate significantly with BCVA at 3 and 6 months.Conclusions:The presence of a normal IS/OS junction was associated with good visual acuity after ERM surgery. A normal IS/OS junction probably indicates morphological and functional recovery of the photoreceptors.

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