Spectral versus time-domain OCT in detecting preoperative epiretinal membranes that accompany macular holes

Prethy Rao, Yoshihiro Yonekawa, Benjamin J. Thomas, Kimberly A. Drenser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: To compare the sensitivities of spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) versus timedomain OCT (TD-OCT) in identifying epiretinal membranes (ERM) preoperatively in patients who underwent surgery for full-thickness macular holes (FTMH). Methods: This is an interventional retrospective case series of 59 eyes diagnosed with FTMHs who underwent 25-G pars plana vitrectomy with internal limiting membrane peeling between 2009 and 2015. Preoperative OCTs were obtained by SD-OCT (Spectralis, Heidelberg, Germany) or TD-OCT (Stratus, Carl Zeiss Meditec, Dublin, CA, USA). Volume scans were reviewed for ERM accompanying the FTMH. This was compared to indocyanine greennegative staining and intraoperative findings of ERM as the gold standard. Results: Baseline characteristics between the SD-OCT and TD-OCT groups were comparable. Mean duration of postoperative follow-up was 41.4 weeks (±49.0). Of 59 eyes, 33 (55.9%) exhibited an ERM intraoperatively. Four ERMs (SD-OCT group) compared to 12 (TD-OCT group) were not visualized on preoperative OCT (p = 0.003). Sensitivity and specificity of SD-OCT in ERM detection was 79% and 100% compared to 14% and 91% for TD-OCT. Visual acuity improved in both arms (0.5 and 0.3 logMAR units in SD-OCT and TD-OCT, respectively (p = 0.002, 0.0002). Conclusions: We found that SD-OCT was superior to TD-OCT in identifying the presence of ERM preoperatively in patients who underwent macular hole surgery. Since ERMs may decrease the chance of successful pharmacologic vitreolysis, we recommend using SD-OCT over TD-OCT in the evaluation of patients with FTMH to more accurately identify ERMs and allow more comprehensive treatment decisions (pharmacologic versus surgical).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-189
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Epiretinal membrane
  • Macular hole
  • Spectral-domain optical coherence tomography
  • Time-domain optical coherence tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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