Purpose: To evaluate the usefulness of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) images for surgical indication, intraoperative management and postoperative outcome of patients with idiopathic epiretinal macular membrane (IEMM).
Methods: 28 selected eyes underwent surgery for removal of IEMM. The patients' mean age was 57.3 years. The macular region and the IEMMs were studied before and after surgery using OCT, slit-lamp biomicroscopy and fundus photography. The mean postoperative follow-up was 6.2 months (range 1.3-14).
Results: Preoperatively, in 12 of the 28 eyes (42.9%) only the OCT images revealed IEMM partially separated from the macula, with tractional focal point(s) of attachment to the macular region. In the other 16 eyes (57.1%) in which IEMMs were totally adherent to the macular region, the membranes were barely visible by OCT in 13 eyes and not visible in three. Intraoperatively, the surgeon was guided in the peeling procedures. A significant correlation (p < 0.001) was found between visual acuity and macular thickness before surgery and at the end of the postoperative follow-up.
Conclusions: OCT images provide very useful information for the surgical indication, intraoperative management and postoperative outcome of patients with IEMM.