To explore the clinical characteristics, long-term surgical outcomes, and prognostic factors for vision improvement in young patients with epiretinal membrane (ERM).Methods:
A cohort of in-patients aged <40 years and underwent surgical removal of ERM were selected from medical records between January 2009 and December 2015. Data from pre- and postoperative examinations were analyzed for evaluation of surgical outcome.Results:
A total of 142 eyes of 140 patients were included. Epiretinal membrane was secondary in 64.79% of eyes and inflammation was the most common secondary cause. Epiretinal membrane in young patients was characterized by severe proliferation and a tendency to center off-macula and for optic disk involvement. Ninety-three eyes of 91 patients were included in the surgical outcome analysis. Mean follow-up time was 28.95 months. The average vision improvement was 4.2 lines, with an ERM recurrence rate of 4.3%. Patients with idiopathic ERM attained better visual outcomes, whereas those with secondary ERM showed greater improvement. Preoperative visual acuity, the duration of symptoms, and patient sex were predictive factors for visual outcome.Conclusion:
Surgical removal of ERM improves visual acuity, and patients with greater preoperative visual acuity and a shorter duration of symptoms attain the best visual outcomes.