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Kitagawa, Yorihisa, MD, PhD; Shimada, Hiroyuki, MD, PhD; Shinojima, Ari, MD, PhD; Nakashizuka, Hiroyuki, MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/IAE.0000000000001972
Original Study

Purpose: To determine the size of the foveal avascular zone (FAZ) by optical coherence tomography angiography before and after idiopathic epiretinal membrane surgery.

Methods: Thirteen consecutive patients (13 eyes) with unilateral epiretinal membrane were studied retrospectively. Optical coherence tomography angiography was used to measure the FAZ area within 3 mm2 × 3 mm2 scans of the superficial (superficial FAZ) and deep plexus layers (deep FAZ) before and 6 months after vitrectomy. The unaffected fellow eyes were used as controls.

Results: The mean superficial and deep FAZ areas at 6 months after vitrectomy (0.080 ± 0.038 and 0.113 ± 0.045 mm2, respectively) were significantly (P < 0.0001, P = 0.0035) larger than the corresponding mean preoperative FAZ areas (0.056 ± 0.030 and 0.082 ± 0.035 mm2). However, the areas of FAZ expansion were small (0.024 ± 0.013 and 0.031 ± 0.031 mm2). The mean postoperative superficial and deep FAZ areas were significantly (P < 0.0001, P < 0.0001) smaller than those of fellow eyes (0.295 ± 0.108 and 0.410 ± 0.142 mm2). Multiple regression analysis showed that preoperative FAZ area had the highest correlation with postoperative FAZ area (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: This study showed horizontal contraction of the FAZ area in eyes with epiretinal membrane. Because preoperative FAZ area correlates with postoperative FAZ area, FAZ area may be a useful parameter for determining timing of surgery for epiretinal membrane.

Horizontal contraction of foveal avascular zone occurs in eyes with epiretinal membrane. Horizontal expansion is observed after epiretinal membrane surgery, but the magnitude of expansion is small. Foveal avascular zone area can be measured quantitatively and shows correlation before and after surgery. Foveal avascular zone area may be useful for evaluation of epiretinal membrane treatment.

Department of Ophthalmology, Nihon University Hospital, Chiyodaku, Tokyo, Japan.

Reprint requests: Hiroyuki Shimada, MD, PhD, Department of Ophthalmology, Nihon University Hospital, 1-6 Surugadai, Kanda, Chiyodaku, Tokyo 101-8309, Japan; e-mail:

None of the authors has any financial/conflicting interests to disclose.

© 2019 by Ophthalmic Communications Society, Inc.