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19.06.2017 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 4/2018

International Ophthalmology 4/2018

Microvascular changes after vitrectomy with internal limiting membrane peeling: an optical coherence tomography angiography study

International Ophthalmology > Ausgabe 4/2018
Leonardo Mastropasqua, Enrico Borrelli, Paolo Carpineto, Lisa Toto, Luca Di Antonio, Peter A. Mattei, Rodolfo Mastropasqua



To evaluate superficial capillary plexus (SCP) changes occurring after internal limiting membrane (ILM) peeling for the treatment of idiopathic epiretinal membrane (ERM).


A total of 15 eyes of 15 patients affected by idiopathic ERM (eight males and seven females; mean age 59.8 ± 9.6 years) were enrolled in the study. Patients were treated with pars plana vitrectomy followed by ERM and ILM peeling. Subjects were evaluated at baseline and at the week-1 and month-1 follow-up visits. At each visit, patients were evaluated with a complete ophthalmologic evaluation, which included imaging with optical coherence tomography angiography.


Overall, the SCP vessel density was 43.0 ± 3.0% at baseline and was stable throughout the follow-up (40.0 ± 4.0% at week-1 and 41.0 ± 4.0% at month-1 follow-up visits; p = 0.087 and p = 0.426, respectively). Nevertheless, the SCP vessel density was reduced at week-1 visit in both the superior and inferior sectors. In these sectors, the superficial vessel density was still reduced at the month-1 follow-up visit.


We observed a reduction in the SCP vessel density occurring after pars plana vitrectomy with ILM peeling. The reduction is referred to those areas where other changes (e.g., swelling of the arcuate nerve fiber layer) have been already described. In theory, superficial vessel density modifications may be due to the direct surgical trauma to the inner retina, where the superficial plexus is contained, during the ILM grasping.

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