Spectral-domain optical coherence tomography evaluation of vitreoretinal adhesions in idiopathic epiretinal membranes

Luisa Pierro, Marco Gagliardi, Silvia Giatsidis, Lorenzo Iuliano, Luigi Berchicci, Maurizio Battaglia Parodi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Vitreoretinal adhesions play a key role in the vector forces exerted on the vitreoretinal interface, leading to tractional retina deformation and macular hole formation. The aim of this study was to identify the presence of vitreopapillary and vitreofoveal adhesions in idiopathic epiretinal membranes (ERMs) with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) and to evaluate their influence on the vitreoretinal interface. Methods: Sixty-five eyes (65 patients) with idiopathic ERM and 64 healthy eyes (64 patients) underwent SD-OCT analysis. We studied vitreopapillary and vitreofoveal adhesion prevalence in eyes with idiopathic ERM using different SD-OCT patterns ("adherent" or "tractional"). We analyzed their influence on central foveal thickness (CFT), on retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness, and on morphological modifications (foveal depression profile and inner/outer photoreceptor junction). Results: Vitreopapillary adhesion was present in 51.6 % of normal eyes and in 24.6 % of eyes with idiopathic ERM, while vitreofoveal adhesion was found in 14.1 % of normal eyes and in 15.4 % of eyes with ERM. Vitreopapillary adhesion prevalence was significantly higher in the tractional ERM subgroup (p=0.01), than in the adherent ERM subgroup. Both adhesions had no influence on CFT, RNFL thickness, or inner segment/outer segment junction status. Conclusions: Our study suggests that vitreoretinal adhesions may influence the pathogenesis and course of idiopathic ERM. The absence of vitreopapillary adhesion in the adherent type, and its presence in the tractional type, seems to play a key role in ERM characterization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1047
Number of pages7
JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Epiretinal membrane
  • Spectral domain optical coherence tomography
  • Vitreomacular adhesion
  • Vitreopapillary adhesion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Medicine(all)


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