Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy of internal limiting membrane (ILM) or epiretinal membrane removal during pars plana vitrectomy for a retinal detachment resulting from a macular hole in myopic eyes.
Methods: A retrospective study was conducted in a single institution. Twenty-six highly myopic eyes with a retinal detachment resulting from a macular hole were studied. During pars plana vitrectomy, ILM peeling (ILM-peeled group) was performed on 13 eyes, and the ILM was not removed (ILM-preserved group) in 12 eyes. Main outcome measures were anatomic reattachment, optical coherence tomography-determined macular hole closure, and visual acuity. Follow-up periods were longer than 12 months in all cases.
Results: The anatomic reattachment rate after the initial surgery was significantly higher in the ILM-peeled group (92.3%) than in the ILM-preserved group (50%). The macular holes of 8 (72.7%) of the 11 ILM-peeled and reattached eyes and 2 (50%) of the 4 ILM-preserved and reattached eyes were successfully closed by the initial surgery. No significant difference was found in the postoperative visual acuity and the improvement of visual acuity between the ILM-peeled group and the ILM-preserved group. There was also no significant difference of the postoperative visual acuity and improvement of the visual acuity between the two groups in cases with an initial anatomic success.
Conclusion: These results indicate that removal of the ILM contributes to a successful reattachment and is an effective treatment for macular hole and retinal detachment in highly myopic eyes. The authors suggest that the higher success rate after ILM peeling resulted from the release of the traction of the prefoveal vitreous and the epiretinal membrane over the detached retina.