Long-term assessment of internal limiting membrane peeling for full-thickness macular hole using en face adaptive optics and conventional optical coherence tomography

Published:October 20, 2021DOI:



      To evaluate the long-term structural and microvascular retinal effects of internal limiting membrane peeling for full-thickness macular hole (FTMH) using en face adaptive optics optical coherence tomography (AO-OCT), conventional OCT, and OCT angiography (OCTA).


      Interventional case series.


      Patients with FTMH treated with vitrectomy, internal limiting membrane peeling, and gas tamponade.


      Eleven eyes with FTMH that had at least 12 months of postoperative follow-up were enrolled in the study. En face AO-OCT was used to image the superficial retina in the peeled and nonpeeled areas. En face structural OCT was performed to image the inner retinal dimples (IRDs), macular thickness, and retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL). En face OCTA was used to examine the integrity of the peripapillary nerve fibre layer (NFL) plexus.


      AO-OCT showed RFNL wrapping around the IRDs, and no obvious peripapillary NFL plexus dropout was seen with OCTA. Scattered hyper-reflective dots were observed on the surface of the peeled retina in all patients imaged with AO-OCT. No significant differences were found in IRD number (91.5 ± 24.4 versus 77.2 ± 14.7; P = 2.07), IRD proportionate area (8.36 ± 3.34 versus 7.53 ± 2.60; P = 0.159), or macular thickness between the 6- and 12-month (or greater) postoperative visits.


      IRDs do not to progress beyond 6 months postoperatively, and no obvious damage to RFNL and peripapillary NFL plexus was detected. Hyper-reflective dots on the surface of the retina suggestive of possible Müller cell reactive gliosis were identified with AO-OCT.
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