Background: To improve the anatomic success rate in the surgery of full-thickness macular holes, we tested, in a prospective pilot study, the effects of autologous platelet concentrate deposited on the macula at the end of surgery.
Methods: Two consecutive groups of patients were compared. Twenty eyes (group 1, mean symptom duration 11 months) were operated on with injection of an autologous platelet concentrate on the macula after fluid-gas exchange. Another 20 eyes (group 2, mean symptom duration 11 months) were subsequently operated on without autologous platelet concentrate. For all stage 3 holes, posterior hyaloid was detached en bloc at the level of the optic disc. The patient was left supine for 24 h after surgery, and then remained face down for 10 days.
Results: In group 1, 19 cases were an anatomic success, i.e. there was flattening of the retina surrounding the hole and reattachment of the edge of the hole to the retinal pigment epithelium; in 9 cases the hole was even undetectable. Final visual acuity was 0.5 or more in 9 eyes, and 0.4 or more in 14. Visual acuity improved by two lines or more in 17 of the 19 successfully operated eyes. In group 2, only 13 cases were an anatomic success. The functional results for the successfully operated eyes were identical to those of group 1.
Conclusion: These results strongly suggested that autologous platelet concentrate could significantly improve the success rate in macular hole surgery and led us to begin a comparative, prospective, randomized trial.