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Nguyen, Justin H., BS; Yee, Kenneth M.P., BS; Nguyen-Cuu, Jeannie, BS; Sebag, J., MD, FACS, FRCOPHTH, FARVO

doi: 10.1097/IAE.0000000000002275
Original Study: PDF Only

Purpose: Lamellar macular holes (LMHs) can been subdivided into tractional and degenerative subtypes. This cross-sectional cohort study compared structural and functional characteristics in these subtypes hypothesizing that tractional LMH has a higher prevalence of vitreopapillary adhesion and tangential traction (macular pucker), whereas degenerative LMH has more ellipsoid zone disruption and worse vision, measured three different ways.

Methods: Tractional LMH (n = 22) and degenerative LMH (n = 15) were distinguished by optical coherence tomography criteria. Separate spectral domain optical coherence tomography scanning of the macula and optic disk was performed. Visual acuity, contrast sensitivity function (Weber Index, %W), and the degree of visual distortions (3-dimensional threshold Amsler grid; % volume lost [%VL]) were quantified.

Results: Vitreopapillary adhesion was present in 14/22 (64%) tractional, but in only 3/15 (20%) degenerative LMH (P = 0.006). Macular pucker was present in 19/22 (86%) tractional, but in only 8/15 (53%) degenerative LMH (P = 0.011). Ellipsoid zone disruption was present in 13/15 (87%) degenerative, but in only 2/22 (9%) tractional LMH (P = 0.0001). Visual acuity was better in tractional than degenerative LMH (P = 0.006), as was contrast sensitivity function (tractional = 3.44 ± 1.07 %W, degenerative = 4.66 ± 1.73 %W; P = 0.015). Visual distortions were less in tractional (0.33 ± 0.61 %VL) than in degenerative (0.85 ± 0.68 %VL) LMH (P = 0.014).

Conclusion: Structure and visual function differ significantly in subtypes of LMH. Tractional LMH has 3-fold higher prevalence of vitreopapillary adhesion and 2-fold higher prevalence of macular pucker. Degenerative LMH has 9-fold more ellipsoid zone disruption, worse visual acuity and contrast sensitivity function, and 3-fold more distortions. Thus, outer retinal integrity seems more closely correlated with vision than anterior structural abnormalities in LMH.

Tractional lamellar macular holes have a greater prevalence of vitreopapillary adhesion (4-fold) and macular pucker (2-fold) than degenerative lamellar macular holes. Functionally, degenerative lamellar macular holes have worse visual acuity and contrast sensitivity function, as well as 3-fold more visual distortions, associated with a higher prevalence of ellipsoid zone disruption (87% vs. 9%).

VMR Institute for Vitreous Macula Retina, Huntington Beach, California.

Reprint requests: Jerry Sebag, MD, FACS, FRCOphth, FARVO, VMR Institute for Vitreous Macula Retina, 7677 Center Avenue, Suite 400, Huntington Beach, CA 92647; e-mail:

This study was funded by VMR Research Foundation, a non-profit organization.

None of the authors has any conflicting interests to disclose.

© 2018 by Ophthalmic Communications Society, Inc.