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Fleissig, Efrat, MD; Zur, Dinah, MD; Moisseiev, Elad, MD; Keren, Shay, MD; Ohana, Oded, MD; Barak, Adiel, MD

doi: 10.1097/IAE.0000000000001711
Original Study

Purpose: To evaluate the rate of epiretinal membrane (ERM) recurrence in eyes that underwent ERM peeling surgery at least 5 years earlier.

Methods: Retrospective interventional case series study of 37 patients (15 women and 22 men; mean age, 70 ± 7.6 years) operated on for ERM removal with a follow-up of at least 5 years. The patients underwent testing for visual acuity, an ophthalmic examination, and optical coherence tomography imaging, all of which were assessed preoperatively, postoperatively, and at the 5-year follow-up.

Results: Visual acuity significantly improved at 1 year after peeling compared with baseline (P = 0.045), and the improved results were maintained at 5 years (P = 0.804) 0.766 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (Snellen 6/35). The central macular thickness decreased significantly at the 1-year follow-up compared with baseline and continued to decrease as measured at the 5-year follow-up (P = 0.04). At 5 years, the ERM recurrence rate reached 58% (28% extrafoveal). Photoreceptor atrophy and retinal pigment epithelium changes correlated with diabetes mellitus (P = 0.028).

Conclusion: The recurrence rate of ERM after peeling surgery was reported as being around 5% to 12%. It was 58% in the current study. Because the recurrent ERM is generally mild, visual acuity was unaffected.

Five-year follow-up findings revealed a high recurrence rate after epiretinal membrane surgery. Visual acuity is generally spared because of the mild recurrence of the epiretinal membrane.

Ophthalmology Division, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Reprint requests: Efrat Fleissig, MD, Ophthalmology Division, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, 6 Weitzman Street, Tel Aviv 6423906, Israel; e-mail:

This work was self-funded.

None of the authors has any conflicting interests to disclose.

© 2018 by Ophthalmic Communications Society, Inc.