Retina. 2019 Sep;39(9):1772-1778. doi: 10.1097/IAE.0000000000002231.


Purpose: Vital dyes have become a clinical standard during chromovitrectomy but toxicity remains an issue. We compared the clinical outcome of one supposedly toxic vital dye (AV 17 with 5% mannitol) with a standard vital dye (MBB Dual) and performed a power analysis for future comparative studies.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of 270 eyes after chromovitrectomy with internal limiting membrane peeling because of macular holes. Primary endpoint was loss in BCVA >2 lines and photoreceptor atrophy as seen on optical coherence tomography examination.

Results: In 173 eyes, staining of the epiretinal membrane and extracellular matrix was performed using MBB (Group A), and in 97 using AV 17-M (Group B). The mean BCVA was not significantly different after more than 3 months and also not in the early postoperative period after surgery between Group A and Group B. The number of patients suffering from a decline in BCVA of two lines and more was not significantly higher in patients of Group B. There was not a significantly higher percentage of patients with an inner segment/outer segment defect.

Conclusion: Our rather homogeneous study showed no significant difference between both dyes. Thousand five hundred patients would need to be examined to find a significant difference in future studies.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Coloring Agents / adverse effects*
  • Epiretinal Membrane / physiopathology
  • Epiretinal Membrane / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Optic Atrophy / chemically induced
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Vertebrate / drug effects
  • Postoperative Complications / chemically induced
  • Retinal Perforations / physiopathology
  • Retinal Perforations / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Visual Acuity / physiology
  • Vitrectomy / adverse effects*
  • Vitreous Body / surgery


  • Coloring Agents