A new approach to stage 3 macular holes

Ophthalmology. 2000 Aug;107(8):1607-11. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(00)00210-4.


Purpose: The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the feasibility of a surgical approach that might be possible in an office setting for idiopathic stage 3 macular holes. The posterior hyaloid of the vitreous and perihole tissue is enzymatically manipulated to create an atraumatic posterior vitreous separation and may stimulate cell proliferation to close macular holes.

Design: Prospective noncomparative interventional case series.

Participants: Nine eyes of eight patients with idiopathic stage 3 macular holes were treated.

Methods: The patients were treated with an injection of 0.4 IU of autologous plasmin enzyme into the midvitreous cavity and lavage of the vitreous cavity with an infusion light pipe and vitreous cutter followed by filling 70% to 80% of the vitreous cavity with 14% C3F8 and head-down positioning.

Main outcome measures: Posterior vitreous detachment, macular hole closure, and vision improvement.

Results: Eight of nine eyes showed a spontaneous posterior vitreous detachment. One eye required minimal suction of less than 50 mmHg to elevate the posterior hyaloid off the retinal surface. Eyes were followed for a minimum of 6 months. All holes closed, and there was an average visual acuity improvement of four lines. The average surgical time for this procedure was 20 minutes.

Conclusions: Autologous plasmin enzyme-assisted vitreous surgery techniques can reduce operative time, expense, and patient inconvenience while maintaining excellent surgical results, which may allow office-based vitreous surgery for idiopathic stage 3 macular holes.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Ambulatory Surgical Procedures
  • Female
  • Fibrinolysin / therapeutic use
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Fluorocarbons / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Injections
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retinal Perforations / classification
  • Retinal Perforations / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Acuity
  • Vitrectomy
  • Vitreous Body / surgery


  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Fluorocarbons
  • perflutren
  • Fibrinolysin