Purpose: We ascertained the natural course of stage 2 idiopathic macular holes to determine better treatment possibilities.
Methods: We reviewed 48 eyes with stage 2 idiopathic macular holes and followed them up for more than two years. At each examination, best-corrected Snellen visual acuity was measured by a physician masked to the hypothesis of the study.
Results: Stage 2 lesions progressed to stage 3 or 4 during the follow-up period in 32 (67%) and 14 (29%) of 48 eyes, respectively; two eyes (4%) remained in stage 2. In 41 (85%) of 48 eyes, the hole size enlarged during the follow-up: 32 (94%) of 34 eyes had vitreomacular attachment and nine (64%) of 14 eyes had vitreomacular separation at the final examination, for a statistically significant difference in prevalence (P = .03). Visual acuity decreased two or more Snellen lines during the follow-up period in 34 (71%) of 48 eyes, the prevalence of which was significantly higher in eyes with vitreomacular attachment at the final examination (28 of 34, 82%) than in eyes with vitreomacular separation at the final examination (six of 14, 43%) (P = .01).
Conclusion: Even though vitreomacular separation may improve the prognosis of a macular hole, stage 2 lesions usually will develop an enlarged hole and decreased visual acuity.