Currently, the border of idiopathic epiretinal membranes (iERM) is outlined intraoperatively using vital dyes. Therefore, the authors set out to investigate the role of the preoperative retinal thickness map (RTM) of the optical coherence tomography (OCT) in identifying the shape and the size of the iERMs.
15 eyes of 15 patients with iERM who underwent vitrectomy with indocyanine green-assisted membrane peeling were included in this study. The authors analysed the intraoperative fundus images and preoperative Cirrus HD-OCT to detect the shape and the size of the iERM as well as the shape and the size of each thickness-indicating colour (white, red, orange and yellow) on the RTM, respectively. The correlation of areas and morphologic characteristics between both groups was explored.
Analysis of iERM morphologic characteristics (shape) showed a similarity between the iERM contour and the corresponding RTM in 13 cases (86.6%). Furthermore, retinal folds were found in six iERMs and in their corresponding RTMs. Analysis of iERM size (area) revealed a positive correlation between the iERM area and each studied coloured area in RTM. The most significant correlation was between iERM and the red area (440–480 μm; r=0.87, p<0.0001).
The iERM-related retinal folds are clearly distinguishable on the HD-OCT. The red area in RTM representing the 440–480 μm retinal thickness can be a reliable predictor of the extent and the shape of the iERM.