Purpose: To investigate the morphologic characteristics of chronic macular holes (MHs) using optical coherence tomography.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed optical coherence tomographic images of consecutive patients who had been diagnosed with MH. Chronic MH was defined as MH that was observed without being surgically treated for at least 1 year. Optical coherence tomographic parameters were compared between chronic and acute MH.
Results: Thirteen eyes of 13 patients were classified as chronic MH, and 67 eyes of 67 patients were classified as controls. While the basal hole diameter of chronic MH was not different from that of controls (P = 0.146), the minimum hole diameter (781.8 μm) of chronic MH was larger than that of controls (448.4 μm; P < 0.001). The hole height and MH index were smaller in the chronic MH group (380.6 μm; 0.31) than in control group (469.9 μm, 0.53; P = 0.033, P = 0.003). Intraretinal fluid was less frequently observed in chronic MH than in controls (P < 0.001). Retinal pigment epithelial atrophy was only observed in chronic MH.
Conclusion: Chronic MH has features distinct from those of acute symptomatic MH on optical coherence tomography. These findings provide useful insight for the differentiation of chronic MH from acute MH.