Vitrectomy with membrane peeling for vasocentric idiopathic epiretinal membranes

Retina. 2008 Jul-Aug;28(7):981-6. doi: 10.1097/IAE.0b013e31813ffea7.


Purpose: To report the clinical course and outcome of surgery for idiopathic epiretinal membranes (ERMs) centered on retinal blood vessels.

Methods: Retrospective observational case series review of the case records of 15 patients with idiopathic ERMs overlying retinal blood vessels, of whom 9 underwent vitrectomy with membrane peeling. The patients attended two eye departments under the care of four vitreoretinal surgeons with a total of more than 50 years of surgical experience.

Results: The patients were aged 12-74 years (mean = 34.3 years). Difficulties were experienced in achieving vitreoretinal and membranoretinal separation in the 9 eyes undergoing vitreous microsurgery. Recurrent ERM formation occurred in 8 of these eyes (89%) of which 6 underwent revision vitrectomy. Visual improvement was achieved in 55% of patients. Mean follow-up was 2.5 years.

Conclusions: The authors describe a subgroup of patients with idiopathic ERMs in which the membrane is centered over a large retinal vessel. This occurs predominantly but not exclusively in a young age group. Surgical removal is characterized by a high recurrence rate.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Epiretinal Membrane / surgery*
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / surgery*
  • Recurrence
  • Retinal Vessels / pathology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Acuity
  • Vitrectomy / methods*