Post-operative visual outcomes based on morphological staging of idiopathic epiretinal membranes on OCT

Document Type





Aim: To evaluate the recently described optical coherence tomography (OCT) based classification of epiretinal membrane (ERM) and its usefulness in predicting the functional outcome.
Methods: A retrospective observational review of OCT scans of patients with the diagnosis of idiopathic ERM was carried out from January 2016 to June 2021. All consecutive images diagnosed with any stage of idiopathic ERM and fulfilled the eligibility criteria were included in the analysis. ERM was identified on OCT scans as a thin hyperreflective layer over the inner layers of retina. OCT scans of patients with ERM who underwent vitrectomy, were independently staged as per the new classification by two independent retinal surgeons to form a consensus on stage. Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) in logMAR scale and central subfield thickness (CST) on pre- and post-operative spectral domain OCT scans were the variables noted for all patients at the time of diagnosis and at 6 and 12mo follow up visit after undergoing intervention. Partial correlation coefficient was computed between BCVA (logMAR) and CST by ERM stage adjusting by baseline measures.
Results: Clinical charts of 74 patients with idiopathic ERM were assessed. Clinically significant improvement in BCVA overtime was observed with significant difference in median visual acuity of patients with Stage II-IV ERM with P<0.001. The median CST of all patients with stage II-IV ERM showed similar consistent improvement with P<0.001 from baseline to 12th month. Our results showed not only gain in visual acuity but also shift from baseline to anatomical normalization of CST in stage II. We found a decrease in CST with difference of 166 µm and 151 µm in stage III and stage IV respectively. Our results remained consistent with the hypothesis of improved visual outcomes with all stages of ERM with adjusted moderate linear correlation between visual acuity and CST in stage II-IV (r>0.3).
Conclusion: Equally significant visual outcomes of patients with ERM staged II-IV and therefore can be counselled for improved visual acuity after surgical removal of ERM with improvement up to 5 lines on Snellen's chart from the baseline.

Publication (Name of Journal)

International Journal of Ophthalmology