Vitrectomy with Internal Limiting Membrane Peeling versus No Peeling for Idiopathic Full-Thickness Macular Hole

Kurt Cornish Spiteri, Noemi Lois, Neil W. Scott, Jennifer Burr, Jonathan Cook, Charles Boachie, Ramin Tadayoni, Morten la Cour, Ulrik Christensen, Alvin Kwok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Citations (Scopus)


To determine whether internal limiting membrane (ILM) peeling improves anatomic and functional outcomes of full-thickness macular hole (FTMH) surgery when compared with the no-peeling technique.

Systematic review and individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis undertaken under the auspices of the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group. Only randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were included.

Participants and Controls
Patients with idiopathic stage 2, 3, and 4 FTMH undergoing vitrectomy with or without ILM peeling.

Macular hole surgery, including vitrectomy and gas endotamponade with or without ILM peeling.

Main Outcome Measures
Primary outcome was best-corrected distance visual acuity (BCdVA) at 6 months postoperatively. Secondary outcomes were BCdVA at 3 and 12 months; best-corrected near visual acuity (BCnVA) at 3, 6, and 12 months; primary (after a single surgery) and final (after >1 surgery) macular hole closure; need for additional surgical interventions; intraoperative and postoperative complications; patient-reported outcomes (PROs) (EuroQol-5D and Vision Function Questionnaire-25 scores at 6 months); and cost-effectiveness.

Four RCTs were identified and included in the review. All RCTs were included in the meta-analysis; IPD were obtained from 3 of the 4 RCTs. No evidence of a difference in BCdVA at 6 months was detected (mean difference, −0.04; 95% confidence interval [CI], −0.12 to 0.03; P = 0.27); however, there was evidence of a difference in BCdVA at 3 months favoring ILM peeling (mean difference, −0.09; 95% CI, −0.17 to −0.02; P = 0.02). There was evidence of an effect favoring ILM peeling with regard to primary (odds ratio [OR], 9.27; 95% CI, 4.98–17.24; P < 0.00001) and final macular hole closure (OR, 3.99; 95% CI, 1.63–9.75; P = 0.02) and less requirement for additional surgery (OR, 0.11; 95% CI, 0.05–0.23; P < 0.00001), with no evidence of a difference between groups with regard to intraoperative or postoperative complications or PROs. The ILM peeling was found to be highly cost-effective.

Available evidence supports ILM peeling as the treatment of choice for patients with idiopathic stage 2, 3, and 4 FTMH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-655
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Early online date4 Dec 2013
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


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