Purpose: To evaluate the role of vitrectomy in eyes with diffuse diabetic macular edema associated with a taut posterior hyaloid.
Methods: Records of 55 eyes of 50 patients with diabetic retinopathy and diffuse clinically significant diabetic macular edema who underwent vitrectomy with stripping of the premacular posterior hyaloid were reviewed. In all 55 eyes, diffuse diabetic macular edema was present on contact lens examination and confirmed with fluorescein angiography. On fundus examination, the premacular posterior hyaloid was attached and appeared taut.
Results: The mean preoperative best-corrected visual acuity was 20/160, and the mean final best-corrected visual acuity was 20/80 (P <.0001, Wilcoxon signed rank test), with 27 (49.1%) of the 55 eyes demonstrating improvement in best-corrected visual acuity of 2 or more lines. Fifty-two (94.5%) of the 55 vitrectomized eyes showed improvement in clinically significant macular edema and in 45 eyes (81.8%) the macular edema resolved completely during a mean period of 4.5 months (range, 1 to 13 months). Eyes with macular ischemia and preoperative best-corrected visual acuity of 20/200 or less tended to respond less favorably to vitrectomy than eyes lacking these characteristics. All eyes had at least 6 months of follow-up after surgery, with a mean follow-up of 23.2 months.
Conclusion: In eyes with persistent diffuse diabetic macular edema with a taut premacular posterior hyaloid face unresponsive to laser therapy, vitrectomy with removal of the posterior hyaloid appears to be beneficial in some cases. Careful selection of eyes with favorable preoperative clinical characteristics may improve surgical outcomes.