Authors: Cigdem Altan, Hülya Güngel, Hakan Eren, Evre Pekel, Eylem Pynarcy, Istanbul, Turkey

Advantages / Purpose:

To compare the optical coherence tomography (OCT) findings of primary and secondary epiretinal membranes (ERMs).


OCT was performed in 153 eyes of 116 consecutive patients (59 males, 57 females) with fundoscopic evidence of ERMs. Adherence characteristics, macular thickness, loss of foveal contour, edge/tuft visibility, pseudohole formation, vitreomacular traction, cystic formation, nonadherence, and surface irregularity in OCT were evaluated. Correlation of patients´ characteristics and OCT findings were investigated.

Effectiveness / Safety:

The mean age was 68,3±6,1 in primary ERM group (65 eyes) and 61,0±10,8 in secondary ERM group (88 eyes) (p=0.001). The mean visual acuity was 0,61±0,29 in primary ERM group and 0,35±0,27 in secondary ERM group (p=0.001). Central macular thickness was 323,9±90,2μ in primary ERM group and 346,6±141,7μ in secondary ERM group (p=0,26). The pattern of membrane attachment to the retina was not significantly different in between two groups (p>0,05). Significant differences were found between the two groups for the parameters of loss of foveal contour (p=0,05), pseudohole formation (p=0,01), cystic formation (p=0,002) and subretinal exudation (p=0,001).

Take home message:

Secondary ERMs may show different OCT findings than primary ERMs according to the underlying pathology. Visual prognosis is limited in cases with secondary ERM. OCT may be useful in separation of primary ERMs from secondary cases and it may give an idea about visual prognosis.