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      Comparative study of combined vitrectomy with phacoemulsification versus vitrectomy alone for primary full-thickness macular hole repair

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          To assess the effectiveness and safety of 23-gauge pars plana vitrectomy combined with phacoemulsification versus vitrectomy alone in patients over 50 years with primary full-thickness macular holes (FTMH).


          We retrospectively reviewed the medical records related to 406 consecutive vitrectomies performed for primary FTMH. Phacovitrectomy was performed in 294 phakic eyes whereas vitrectomy alone in 112 pseudophakic eyes. The cases were divided into three groups according to the stage of the FTMH: stage 2 (n = 93), stage 3 (n = 270), or stage 4 (n = 43). The primary outcome measure was the closure of the FTMH. The secondary outcome measures were the evolution of visual acuity as well as intraoperative and postoperative complications.


          Neither the primary nor the secondary outcomes differed between phacovitrectomy and vitrectomy alone for all three stages. The FTMH were closed in 375 eyes (92.4 %) after a first operation. The closure rate was higher for stage 2 (96.8 %) than for stages 3 (91.1 %) or 4 (90.75 %), but not significantly (P = 0.189). The mean visual acuity increased significantly from preoperatively LogMAR 0.68 (± SD 0.2) to LogMAR 0.43 (± SD 0.24) at the end of the follow-up (p < 0.001).


          Combined 23-gauge pars plana vitrectomy with phacoemulsification for primary FTMH repair in patients over 50 years is as efficient and safe when compared with vitrectomy only.

          Trial registration

          The study was approved on 30 th April 2020 by the local ethics committee (Ethikkommission Ostschweiz, EKOS 20/074; BASEC Nr. 2020-01033).

          Supplementary Information

          The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s12886-021-01918-2.

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          Most cited references 38

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          The International Vitreomacular Traction Study Group classification of vitreomacular adhesion, traction, and macular hole.

          The International Vitreomacular Traction Study (IVTS) Group was convened to develop an optical coherence tomography (OCT)-based anatomic classification system for diseases of the vitreomacular interface (VMI).
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            Types of macular hole closure and their clinical implications.

            To evaluate the clinical significance of macular hole closure types assessed by optical coherence tomography (OCT). This study involved 34 eyes of 32 patients who had undergone anatomically successful idiopathic macular hole surgery. The closed macular holes were categorised into two patterns based on OCT; type 1 closure (closed without foveal neurosensory retinal defect) and type 2 closure (closed with foveal neurosensory retinal defect). Association between visual prognosis, type of hole closure, and possible prognostic factors were analysed. 19 eyes (61.3%) were classified into the type 1 closure and 12 eyes (38.7%) into the type 2 closure. The extent of postoperative visual improvement of type 1 closure group was larger than that of type 2 closure group (p=0.002). The preoperative macular hole size of type 2 closure group was significantly larger than that of type 1 closure group (p=0.006). The duration of symptoms was positively correlated with the preoperative macular hole size (p=0.01). Recurrence of macular hole occurred only in the type 2 closure group. The type of macular hole closure, which was influenced by the preoperative hole diameter, was associated with postoperative visual prognosis. Early detection and intervention in macular hole should be emphasised.
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              Vitrectomy surgery increases oxygen exposure to the lens: a possible mechanism for nuclear cataract formation.

              To report vitreous oxygen tension before, immediately after, and at longer times after vitrectomy. A prospective, interventional consecutive case series. Oxygen was measured using an optical oxygen sensor in patients undergoing vitrectomy. Intraoperatively, oxygen measurements were taken before and after vitrectomy in two intraocular locations: adjacent to the lens and in the mid-vitreous. Sixty-nine eyes underwent oxygen tension measurements at the time of vitrectomy. In baseline eyes, oxygen tension in the vitreous was low, measuring 8.7 +/- 0.6 mm Hg adjacent to the lens and 7.1 +/- 0.5 mm Hg in the mid-vitreous. The difference between the two locations was statistically significant (P < .003), indicating that vitreous gel maintains an intraocular oxygen gradient. Immediately after vitrectomy, oxygen tension in the fluid-filled eye was higher, measuring 69.6 +/-4.8 mm Hg adjacent to the lens and 75.6 +/- 4.1 mm Hg in the mid-vitreous. There was no statistically significant oxygen gradient between the two locations. The difference in oxygen tension pre- and postvitrectomy is highly statistically significant (P < .0001 lens, P < .0001 mid-vitreous). In eyes with a history of vitrectomy and previous removal of the vitreous gel, the intraocular oxygen tension was significantly higher than in eyes with a formed vitreous gel undergoing a first vitrectomy (P < .02 lens, P < .003 mid-vitreous). Vitrectomy surgery significantly increases intraocular oxygen tension during and for prolonged periods after surgery. This exposes the crystalline lens to abnormally high oxygen and may lead to nuclear cataract formation.

                Author and article information

                BMC Ophthalmol
                BMC Ophthalmol
                BMC Ophthalmology
                BioMed Central (London )
                10 April 2021
                10 April 2021
                : 21
                [1 ]GRID grid.413349.8, ISNI 0000 0001 2294 4705, Department of Ophthalmology, , Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen, ; Rorschacher Strasse 95, 9007 St. Gallen, Switzerland
                [2 ]GRID grid.413354.4, ISNI 0000 0000 8587 8621, Department of Otolaryngology, , Cantonal Hospital Luzern, ; Spitalstrasse 6000 Luzern 16, Luzern, Switzerland
                © The Author(s) 2021

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