Anatomic and visual outcomes after indocyanine green-assisted peeling of the retinal internal limiting membrane in idiopathic macular hole surgery

Am J Ophthalmol. 2004 Apr;137(4):609-14. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2003.08.038.


Purpose: To report anatomic and visual outcomes after vitrectomy and adjunctive retinal internal limiting membrane (ILM) peeling with and without intravitreal indocyanine green for idiopathic macular hole repair.

Design: Retrospective comparative study of consecutive case series.

Methods: Three consecutive groups of idiopathic macular hole cases underwent modifications of surgical technique. Group I (48 eyes of 47 patients) underwent a standard vitrectomy, fluid/gas exchange, and 1 week's face-down positioning, group II (21 eyes of 21 patients) an adjunctive ILM peeling without use of indocyanine green, and group III (28 eyes of 28 patients) an adjunctive peeling of ILM stained with intravitreal application of 0.1 to 0.2 ml of 0.5% indocyanine green dye.

Results: Three groups of patients had comparable clinical characteristics as to age, gender, estimated duration of macular hole, preoperative visual acuity, and follow-up time. The rate of macular hole closure after a single surgery, as determined by optical coherence topography was 85.4% in group I, 85.7% in group II, and 100% in group III. Groups I and II showed a statistically significant visual improvement, but group III did not show significant visual acuity improvement as the mean logarithm of the minimal angle of resolution visual acuity was from 0.767 (20/120) preoperatively to 0.691 (20/100) postoperatively (P =.342). Eight cases in group III developed within a few postoperative months of optic disk pallor and irreversible peripheral visual field loss, predominantly affecting the nasal field.

Conclusions: Intravitreal indocyanine green-assisted ILM peeling improves anatomic success in macular hole surgery, but it may potentially lead to unfavorable visual acuity outcome and peripheral visual field loss.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Basement Membrane / pathology
  • Basement Membrane / surgery
  • Coloring Agents*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indocyanine Green*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmoscopy
  • Prone Position
  • Retinal Perforations / diagnosis
  • Retinal Perforations / physiopathology
  • Retinal Perforations / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Staining and Labeling / methods
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Acuity / physiology*
  • Visual Fields / physiology*
  • Vitrectomy / methods*


  • Coloring Agents
  • Indocyanine Green