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Purpose:

To describe retinal morphology before and after surgery for epiretinal membranes. Additionally to evaluate factors responsible for the final visual outcome.

Material and Methods:

A retrospective study of 126 eyes followed with SD- OCT for a period of 18 months. Pars plana vitrectomy with trypan blue staining was performed in all eyes.

Results:

Increased preoperative central and maximum retinal thickness (p=0.04) and IS/ OS defects (p=0.03) were associated with worse final visual outcome. Eyes with multiple points of adhesion between epiretinal membranes and retinal surface were more likely to have decreased visual acuity postoperatively. Visual acuity continuously improves for at least 18 months after surgery, which is correlated with continuous decrease in macular thickness.

Conclusion:

Careful analysis of three dimensional SD- OCT scans may enable better surgery planning and may enable one to anticipate the final outcome, having in mind that photoreceptor defects and maximum retinal thickness are the most important prognostic factors. Patients and surgeons should be aware that visual acuity may improve even 18 months after surgery.