Purpose: To investigate the clinical features and surgical outcomes in patients with epiretinal membrane-induced full-thickness macular holes (FTMHs).
Methods: Consecutive cases with epiretinal membrane-induced FTMH followed by a single surgeon were retrospectively reviewed (study group, 24 cases). The criteria of epiretinal membrane-induced FTMH selection were 1) documented lamellar macular hole before FTMH formation, 2) FTMH with lamellar hole-associated epiretinal proliferation at the hole edge, and 3) FTMH with wider inner opening and narrower base. Consecutively treated Stage 2 (Control A, 20 cases) and Stage 4 (Control B, 22 cases) MH patients served as controls. All patients were followed up for at least 12 months after treatment.
Results: Patients in the study group were younger and had a higher rate of high myopia than Controls A and B. The average hole size (203.6 ± 104.9 μm) was similar to that in Control A group and smaller than that in Control B group; the postoperative visual improvement (2-3 lines in Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study) was lower than that in Control A and B groups. Similar results were found when excluding high myopia cases from the study group.
Conclusion: Epiretinal membrane-induced FTMH has distinct features from the typical Stage 2 or 4 FTMH. Despite the small size, visual improvement is not as good as that in Stage 2 FTMH.