To investigate the association between fundus autofluorescence (FAF) and visual acuity, recovery of foveal microstructure, and FAF in surgically closed macular holes.
Twenty-six eyes with surgically closed macular hole were classified into two groups based on foveal FAF: normal autofluorescence (NAF) or increased autofluorescence (IAF). The association between foveal FAF and visual acuity was analyzed. In addition, we examined the relationship between recovery of the foveal microstructure assessed by spectral domain optical coherence tomography and FAF after macular hole surgery.
At 1 month and 6 months after surgery, there were 9 NAF eyes and 17 IAF eyes. There were no differences between NAF and IAF eyes at 1 month and 6 months after surgery. Preoperative best-corrected visual acuity (logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution) did not differ between groups. Best-corrected visual acuity was significantly higher in the NAF group than in the IAF group at 1 month postoperatively (0.59 ± 0.34 vs. 0.91 ± 0.36, P = 0.044) and tended to be higher at 6 months (0.37 ± 0.38 vs. 0.69 ± 0.53, P = 0.126). Restoration of photoreceptor external limiting membrane differed significantly in 8 NAF eyes (89%) and 4 IAF eyes (24%) at postoperation 1 month (P = 0.001). After 6 months, external limiting membrane was restored in all 9 NAF eyes (100%) and in only 11 IAF eyes (65%) (P = 0.042).
Fundus autofluorescence findings observed in surgically closed macular holes correlated with visual improvement and photoreceptor status. Eyes with visual improvement had restoration of normal foveal autofluorescence and retinal microstructure, whereas eyes with persistent foveal hyperautofluorescence did not achieve complete restoration of the retinal microstructure, and visual improvement was not as significant.