Purpose: To compare the functional and morphologic characteristics and evolution of lamellar macular holes (LMHs) with and without lamellar hole-associated epiretinal proliferation (LHEP).
Methods: This was a retrospective observational case review of 145 eyes of 136 patients with LMH seen in a vitreoretinal clinical practice, and the eyes were subdivided into 2 groups based on the presence or absence of LHEP. Main outcome measures were logarithm of minimal angle of resolution (logMAR) visual acuity and morphologic characteristics as seen with spectral domain optical coherence tomography over retrospective follow-up.
Results: In 62 eyes (42.7%), LHEP was detected, while 83 eyes (57.3%) had the presence of epiretinal membrane without LHEP. The mean logMAR visual acuity in eyes with LHEP was 0.51 (20/65 Snellen equivalent), which was significantly poorer than that in the eyes without LHEP at 0.33 (20/43 Snellen equivalent, P = 0.002). Multivariate analysis showed that the presence of LHEP was significantly associated with larger LMH diameter at the middle retinal level (P = 0.01) and thinner retinal thickness at the base of the LMH (P < 0.001). A higher proportion of eyes with LHEP (88%) had ellipsoid disruption compared with eyes without LHEP (24%, P = 0.001). Over the mean retrospective follow-up of 26 months, 5% of eyes with LHEP had functional decline of 0.3 logMAR visual acuity compared with 4% of eyes without LHEP (P = 0.99), whereas 18% of eyes with LHEP had morphologic progression compared with 13% of eyes without LHEP (P = 0.49).
Conclusion: Eyes with LMH and LHEP were associated with poorer visual acuity, larger LMH diameters, thinner retinal thickness, and higher incidence of ellipsoid disruption compared with eyes without LHEP, suggesting a process involving more severe retinal tissue loss and injury. Both LMH with and without LHEP seemed to be stable configurations over time.