Retina. 2021 Nov 1;41(11):2246-2252. doi: 10.1097/IAE.0000000000003200.


Purpose: To investigate the foveal movement in eyes with epiretinal membrane after vitrectomy and membrane peeling.

Methods: A retrospective review of 85 eyes with epiretinal membrane treated with vitrectomy, membrane peeling, and internal limiting membrane removal. Using a self-designed computer program to compare the preoperative and postoperative images of optical coherence tomography to measure the amount of foveal movement. Analyze the relationships between foveal displacement, preoperative and postoperative best-corrected visual acuity, central foveal thickness, and the stage of epiretinal membrane.

Results: Most of the fovea were nasally shifted. More movement happened in the first month and almost finished in the first year. The greater degree of foveal displacement was correlated with poorer initial visual acuity and thicker central foveal thickness. In considering with the ectopic inner foveal layer staging of epiretinal membrane by structural optical coherence tomography, the foveal realignment is greatest in Stage 4 (394.47 ± 171.44 µm), followed by Stage 1 (251.21 ± 135.40 µm), Stage 2 (235.70 ± 147.51 µm), and Stage 3 (219.86 ± 117.91 µm) at the postoperative 1 month.

Conclusion: Most eyes of epiretinal membrane had the foveal moved nasally after membrane peeling and internal limiting membrane peeling. The larger amount of foveal movement was correlated with poorer initial best-corrected visual acuity. Dystopia fovea may be another factor affecting visual acuity in addition to other biomarkers in optical coherence tomography.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Basement Membrane / surgery*
  • Epiretinal Membrane / surgery*
  • Female
  • Fovea Centralis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Retinal Detachment / diagnosis
  • Retinal Detachment / etiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods*
  • Vitrectomy / adverse effects*