Folding the internal limiting membrane flap under perfluorocarbon liquid in large, chronic and myopic macular holes

Tommaso Rossi, Carlandrea Trillo, Herman D. Schubert, Serena Telani, Paola Cirafici, Daniele Ferrari, Guido Ripandelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of the present paper is to describe a surgical technique aimed at creating multiple layers of Internal Limiting Membrane (ILM) using Perfluorocarbon Liquid (PFCL) in order to favour the closure of large, chronic and myopic Macular Holes (MH). Methods: Thirty patients belonging to 3 subgroups: large (> 500 μm), chronic (> 12 months) and myopic (> − 9 diopters), MHs, underwent surgery and completed 6 months follow-up. The ILM was engaged and peeled 360° around the MH, hinged to the rim and folded over the hole. A PFCL bubble spanning the vascular arcades was then injected and the ILM is grasped repeatedly to fold the distal edge towards the MH centre, creating multiple ILM layers over the MH. Results: MH closed in 26/30 cases (86.6%) with no significant difference among subgroups. Vision improved 2.57 ± 1.56 Snellen lines from LogMAR 1.50 ± 1.19 to 1.19 ± 1.32 (p < 0.01). Ellipsoid Zone (EZ) interruption width reduced from 1129 ± 439 μm to 258 ± 507 μm (p < 0.001) and correlated to pattern of MH closure, post-BCVA and line improvement (p < 0.001 in all cases). Discussion: The use PFCL allows multiple ILM layers and resulted in a high closure rate. Pattern of MH closure differs from those previously described leaving a plug of ILM tissue that interrupts retinal architecture often only in the inner layers. PFCL gravity and hydrophobicity displace aqueous while the intensely polar opposite faces of the ILM attract each other. The folded ILM plugs MH and bridges the gap and may help glial cell proliferation and migration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2367-2373
Number of pages7
JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2019


  • Internal limiting membrane flap
  • Macular hole
  • Perfluorocarbon liquid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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