Postoperative changes in the retinal thickness and volume after vitrectomy for epiretinal membrane and internal limiting membrane peeling

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The aim of the study was to investigate the thickness and volume profiles of each retinal layer in postoperative patients with epiretinal membranes.

Twenty-four patients who underwent pars plana vitrectomy with internal limiting membrane (ILM) peeling for epiretinal membrane were included. The best corrected visual acuity, thickness, and volume were recorded from the medical records through a retrospective review. Spectral domain optical coherence tomography was used to measure the average thickness and volume of each retinal layer before surgery and 6 months postoperatively.

All 24 patients were monitored for 60 months after surgery. In all Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) subfields, the thickness and volume of the retinal nerve fiber layer and the inner retinal layer decreased significantly. In contrast, the thickness and volume of the ganglion cell layer, inner nuclear layer, inner plexiform layer, and outer plexiform layer only decreased in some ETDRS subfields. Finally, there was no significant change in the thickness or volume of the outer nuclear layer (ONL), retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), and photoreceptor layers in all ETDRS subfields.

The thickness and volume of the inner retina layer decreased significantly after pars plana vitrectomy using ILM peeling. However, there was no significant change in the thickness and volume of the outer retinal layers (ONL, RPE, and photoreceptor) after surgery.

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