Epidemiology and morphology of full-thickness macular holes.

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To investigate the incidence of full-thickness macular holes (FTMHs) and their morphological features according to the International Vitreomacular Traction Study (IVTS) classification.


The clinical records of all new patients with FTMH, referred between 2008 and 2014, were reviewed for demographics, cause of the FTMH, age at diagnosis, symptom duration, laterality, visual acuity (VA), axial length and lens status. A detailed analysis of the patients' spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) images was performed, and the primary FTMHs were classified in clinical stages according to the IVTS classification. From the SD-OCT, accurate macula drawings were made by means of a computer-drawing software. By merging these drawings and displaying them as colour-coded maps, the morphology and shape of the FTMH were visualized.


The study included 177 eyes (152 primary and 25 secondary FTMH) in 166 patients. In primary FTMH, the male-to-female ratio was 1:2.2. The age- and gender-adjusted annual incidences of primary FTMH were 7.9 eyes and 7.4 individuals per 100 000 inhabitants. Mean primary FTMH minimum linear diameter (MLD) and basal diameter (BD) were 435 μm and 872 μm, respectively, and 13% were classified as small, 31% as medium and 55% as large. Vitreomacular traction (VMT) and epiretinal membrane (ERM) were present in 34% and 36% of the eyes, respectively.


This study provides data on the incidence rates of FTMH adjusted to different standard populations. The morphological analysis and novel computational visualization technique offer new insight into the structural complexity of FTMH and how VMT and ERM significantly influence FTMH configuration.

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