Ocular blood flow changes impact visual acuity gain after surgical treatment for idiopathic epiretinal membrane

Felix Rommel*, Max P. Brinkmann, Jan A.M. Sochurek, Michelle Prasuhn, Salvatore Grisanti, Mahdy Ranjbar

*Corresponding author for this work
7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Idiopathic epiretinal membrane (iERM) is a common eye disease, which can be treated by surgical removal of the fibrotic tissue. Morphological outcome is generally evaluated by optical coherence tomography (OCT). Here, we investigate the impact of surgery on hemodynamics of the posterior pole, using OCT angiography (OCTA). Methods: Patients with unilateral iERM and indication for treatment were included. OCT and OCTA images of the posterior pole were obtained preoperatively and 3-months after 23G vitrectomy with membrane peeling. Parameters of interest included full retinal perfusion, choriocapillaris perfusion (CCP), Sattler’s layer perfusion (SLP), and Haller’s layer perfusion, which were evaluated longitudinally and also compared to unaffected fellow eyes. Using these parameters, multiple regression analyses were used to predict visual outcomes. Results: Sixty-three iERM eyes were recruited, which initially showed a significant bigger central retinal thickness (p < 0.001) and total macular volume (TMV) (p < 0.001) compared to fellow eyes, while perfusion parameters were alike. Three months later, treated eyes had a statistically significant thicker subfoveal choroid (p = 0.006) and showed an increase of CCP (p = 0.003), while SLP decreased (p = 0.014). Lower preoperative TMV and higher SLP were associated with better postoperative visual outcome. Conclusion: In this OCTA study, iERM itself does not affect the choroidal circulation. However, preoperative choroidal circulation will be a biomarker to know the influence on the choroidal circulation after ERM surgery and may be considered as a predictor for visual outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1768
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 06.2020


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