Trypan blue staining in vitreoretinal surgery

Ophthalmology. 2003 Dec;110(12):2409-12. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(03)00716-4.


Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy of trypan blue for staining the internal limiting membrane (ILM) and epiretinal membranes (ERM) in vitreoretinal surgery.

Design: Prospective noncomparative case series.

Participants: Fifty eyes of 50 patients with macular pucker (n = 22), macular hole (n = 18), or a combination (n = 2), proliferative vitreoretinopathy (n = 5), or diabetic retinopathy (n = 3).

Methods: Trypan blue 0.2% was used to stain the ILM or ERM during vitreoretinal surgery.

Main outcome measures: The intraoperative visibility of the membranes was scored as poor, moderate, good, or excellent.

Results: The application of trypan blue onto the ILM or the ERM resulted in a useful bluish staining, facilitating the identification, delineation, and removal of the membranes in all surgeries. No residual staining or adverse effects related to the dye were observed.

Conclusions: Trypan blue stains both ILM and ERM and might be an useful tool in vitreoretinal surgery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Basement Membrane / pathology*
  • Coloring Agents*
  • Epiretinal Membrane / diagnosis*
  • Eye Diseases / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retinal Diseases / surgery*
  • Staining and Labeling / methods*
  • Trypan Blue*
  • Vitreous Body / surgery*


  • Coloring Agents
  • Trypan Blue