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Purpose:

To assess the value of the central foveal thickness (CFT) and the area of the epiretinal membrane (ERM), which is not in contact with the retinal structure, as a prognostic factor for ERM surgery outcome

Methods:

Retrospective consecutive study including 50 eyes of 41 patients with the diagnosis of ERM. All eyes underwent pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) and ERM peeling assisted by a colouring agent by an experienced surgeon. Corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA) and CFT were evaluated preoperatively and at 6 months postoperatively. Furthermore, the ERM portion which was elevated was detected in the OCT image and processed digitally to obtain its area.

Results:

LogMAR CDVA improved significantly with surgery (p<0.01). CFT decreased significantly with surgery (p<0.01). A statistically significant correlation was found between the change in LogMAR CDVA and preoperative CFT (r=-0.60, p<0.01). The preoperative elevated area of ERM has a week trend but not significant correlation with the change in LogMAR CDVA (r=-0.16, p=0.26).

Conclusions:

This software could be used for safer membrane peeling but seems to need more precise tissue differentiation for being a strong significant predictive factor for visual outcome after PPV and ERM peeling. A better visual outcome is expected after PPV and membrane peeling in ERM eyes with high CFT.