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Influence of cataract surgery on retinal thickness in patients with epiretinal membrane

Poster Details

First Author: B.Wetzel AUSTRIA

Co Author(s):    G. Mylonas   C. Bernhart   F. Prager   G. Kahraman   P. Malamos   M. Amon     

Abstract Details


To investigate intraretinal changes and central millimeter thickness (CMMT) after successful uncomplicated cataract surgery in patients with asymptomatic epiretinal membrane (ERM).


The research took place at the department of ophthalmology of the Hospital of Saint John of God, Vienna Austria.


Thirty eyes of twenty-six patients with a visually compromising cataract and asymptomatic (without metamorphopsia) epiretinal membrane (ERM group) and fifteen consecutive eyes with senile cataract and a healthy macula (control group) were included. All eyes of the study population underwent uneventful cataract surgery using a standardized, small incision phacoemulsification technique and topical anesthesia. Best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and optical coherence tomography (OCT) as well as biomicroscopy were performed at baseline, one week, one month and three months after cataract surgery. OCT raster scans were further analyzed regarding CMMT and structural changes of the retinal morphology.


The baseline mean visual acuity improved significantly three months after cataract surgery in both groups (p<0.05). CMMT in the ERM group was 342 (±53μm) at baseline and increased significantly to 356 (±57) μm after three months (p<0.05). One patient in the ERM group developed temporary cystoid macular edema one week after cataract surgery that resolved under topical treatment within three months. CMMT in the control group increased significantly three months after cataract surgery as well but no structural changes of the retinal morphology were observed in this group.


This study provides evidence that cataract surgery in eyes with asymptomatic pre-existing ERM can be considered as safe and effective, resulting in good visual acuity outcomes. However, increase of CMMT and temporary mild changes in retinal morphology may occur.

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