Three-dimensional evaluation of vitreomacular traction and epiretinal membrane using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography

Am J Ophthalmol. 2008 Mar;145(3):509-517. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2007.10.014. Epub 2008 Jan 11.


Purpose: To delineate the 3-dimensional (3-D) relationship in vitreomacular traction (VMT) and idiopathic epiretinal membrane (ERM).

Design: Observational case series.

Methods: Forty-eight evaluable eyes of 35 patients with VMT or idiopathic ERM were investigated with spectral-domain (SD) optical coherence tomography (OCT). VMT was defined as focal if the diameter of the vitreous attachment was 1500 microm or less and broad if it was more than 1500 microm. The 3-D OCT representation of vitreomacular interface abnormalities was evaluated.

Results: Focal VMT was seen in five eyes. Broad VMT was seen in seven eyes. Of these 12 eyes, concurrent ERMs under the detached vitreous were seen in 10 eyes and zones of hyperreflectivity affecting the adjacent detached posterior hyaloid face were seen in 11 eyes. Eyes with focal VMT showed a foveal cavitation, whereas eyes with broad VMT had more widespread cystoid macular edema. Idiopathic ERM was seen in 36 eyes; 30 had complete posterior vitreous detachment (PVD), five had partial PVD associated with attached posterior hyaloid at some peripheral portion of the ERM, and one had no PVD.

Conclusions: The SD OCT with 3-D image reconstruction provided unprecedented visualization of VMT and idiopathic ERM. The vitreous attachment to the macula can be subclassified into two subgroups, each having specific induced alterations in retinal anatomy. Most of the eyes with VMT had concurrent ERM, whereas several eyes with idiopathic ERM had attachment of the vitreous to some portion of the ERM, which suggests there is significant overlap between VMT and idiopathic ERM.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Epiretinal Membrane / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Macula Lutea / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods*
  • Visual Acuity
  • Vitreous Body / pathology*
  • Vitreous Detachment / diagnosis*