INTERNAL LIMITING MEMBRANE PEELING VERSUS NONPEELING TO PREVENT EPIRETINAL MEMBRANE DEVELOPMENT IN PRIMARY RHEGMATOGENOUS RETINAL DETACHMENT: A Swept-Source Optical Coherence Tomography Study With a New Postoperative Classification System


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Abstract

Purpose:To determine whether internal limiting membrane peeling in primary rhegmatogenous retinal detachment prevents epiretinal membrane (ERM) development. Secondarily, we propose a classification system for postoperative ERMs.Methods:Retrospective, interventional, comparative case series. Consecutive eyes with primary rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (n = 140) treated by a single surgeon. The presence of postoperative ERMs was assessed with swept-source optical coherence tomography.Results:An ERM was detected in 26 eyes (46.4%) in the nonpeeling group and in one eye (1.8%) in the internal limiting membrane peeling group (P ≤ 0.001). The median visual acuity significantly improved in both groups (P ≤ 0.001). Inner retinal dimples were observed in 41.1% of eyes in the internal limiting membrane peeling group versus 0% in the nonpeeling group (P ≤ 0.001), and they were not correlated with visual acuity (r = 0.011; P = 0.941). Based on swept-source optical coherence tomography findings, we identified three different types of ERMs: 7 (26.9%) were classified as Type 1, 12 (46.1%) as Type 2, and 7 (26.9%) as Type 3. Superficial retinal plexus deformations observed on optical coherence tomography angiography and en face images were detected in 100% of Type 3 ERMs, 41.6% of Type 2, and 0% of Type 1 (χ2 = 14.3; P = 0.001). Interestingly, all of the patients who presented these alterations also had metamorphopsia.Conclusion:Internal limiting membrane peeling in primary rhegmatogenous retinal detachment seems to prevent postoperative ERM development. Swept-source optical coherence tomography analysis is helpful to define and classify different types of ERMs and to establish the surgical indication for their removal.

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