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To compare outcomes of macular hole surgery using sulfurhexafluoride (SF6) versus perfluoropropane (C3F8) gas.


This is a retrospective, interventional, comparative study. A total of 177 eyes of 166 patients operated over a 3-year period for idiopathic macular holes were included. Sixty-seven eyes had tamponade with SF6 gas (Group 1), whereas 111 eyes received C3F8 (Group 2) as the tamponading agent. The primary outcome measure was the macular hole closure rate. Statistical analysis was done using SPSSv16.


Spectral domain optical coherence tomography-based stagewise distribution of macular holes were similar across both groups (P = 0.99). The hole closure rate was 57/66 (86.4%) with SF6 and 96/111 (86.5%) with C3F8 gas (P = 0.98). Subanalysis demonstrated no significant difference in closure rates regarding macular hole size, stage, or duration. Best-corrected visual acuity improved by a mean of 0.28 logMAR in the SF6 group (P = 0.00) and 0.42 logMAR in the C3F8 group, corresponding to 3 lines and 4 lines of improvement, respectively, on the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study chart (P < 0.05). The difference was not significant (P = 0.06). Rise in intraocular pressure was higher in the C3F8 group (P < 0.05). Progression of cataract was also greater in the C3F8 group (83.3 vs.73.9%), but it was not statistically significant (P = 0.20). Resurgery was done in 9/177 eyes. The closure rate with C3F8 and SF6 reinjections was 3/4 (75%) and 1/5 (20%). Moreover, anatomical hole closure after resurgeries was better in Group 1 (4/5 eyes) than in Group 2 (0/4 eyes).


The macular hole closure rate was similar with sulfurhexafluoride and perfluoropropane, irrespective of hole size, stage, or duration. However, sulfurhexafluoride exhibited a decreased incidence of cataract and ocular hypertension with shorter tamponade duration. Perfluoropropane may have a role as the preferred endotamponading agent in failed primary surgeries.

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