To evaluate the changes in each retinal layer thickness according to preoperative optical coherence tomography(OCT) patterns after idiopathic epiretinal membrane (ERM) removal and to investigate the correlation between retinal layer thickness and visual improvement.


The medical records of 63 patients (63 eyes) who underwent vitrectomy with ILM peeling for idiopathic ERM and followed for more than six months were retrospectively reviewed. The OCT images of preoperative idiopathic ERM were classified into 3 patterns: flat, convex, concave. Then, the changes of each retinal layer thickness were compared among OCT patterns and the correlation between retinal layer thickness and visual improvement were analyzed.


The better visual acuity were measured in order of concave > flat > convex pattern and the patients of convex pattern were only resulted in significant improvement of visual acuity. Ganglion cell layer+inner plexiform layer(GCL+IPL), inner nuclear layer(INL) and outer plexiform layer(OPL) thickness were significantly lager in preoperative ERM patients than in normal controls in order of convex > concave > flat pattern. Retinal layer thickness decreased significantly in GCL+IPL and INL after surgery in order of convex > flat > concave pattern. There was no relationship between preoperative retinal layer thickness and postoperative visual acuity. Improvement of visual acuity was significantly related to GCL+IPL, INL thickness in convex pattern, whereas related to IPL thickness in flat pattern.


In patients with idiopathic ERM, there was difference in preoperative each retinal layer thickness, reductions of retinal layer thickness and retinal layer related to visual improvement among preoperative OCT patterns.