Internal limiting membrane peeling versus no peeling for idiopathic full-thickness macular hole: a pragmatic randomized controlled trial

Noemi Lois, Jennifer Margaret Burr, John Norrie, Luke Vale, Jonathan Cook, Alison McDonald, Charles Boachie, Laura Ternent, Gladys McPherson, Full-Thickness Macular Hole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

226 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


PURPOSE. To determine whether internal limiting membrane (ILM) peeling is effective and cost effective compared with no peeling in patients with idiopathic stage 2 or 3 full-thickness maculay hole (FTMH).

METHODS. This was a pragmatic multicenter randomized controlled trial. Eligible participants front nine centers were randomized to ILM peeling or no peeling (1:1 ratio) in addition to phacovitrectomy, including detachment and removal of the posterior hyaloid and gas tamponade. The primary outcome was distance visual acuity (VA) at 6 months after surgery. Secondary outcomes included hole closure, distance VA at other time points, near VA, contrast sensitivity, reading speed, reoperations, complications, resource use, and participant-reported health status, visual function, and costs.

RESULTS. Of 141 participants randomized in nine centers, 127 (90%) completed the 6-month follow-up. Nonstatistically significant differences in distance visual acuity at 6 months were found between groups (Mean difference, 4.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.3 to 9.8; P = 0.063). There was a significantly higher rate of hole closure in the ILM-peel group (56 [84%] vs. 31 [48%]) at 1 month (odds ratio [OR], 6.23; 95% CI, 2.64-14.73; P < 0.001) with fewer reoperations (8 [12%] vs. 31 [48%]) performed by 6 months (OR, 0.14; 95% CI, 0.05-0.34; P < 0.001). Peeling the ILM is likely to be cost effective.

CONCLUSION. There was no evidence of a difference in distance VA after the ILM peeling and no-ILM peeling techniques. An important benefit in favor of no ILM peeling was ruled out. Given the higher anatomic closure and lower reoperation rates in the ILM-peel group, ILM peeling seems to be the treatment of choice for idiopathic stage 2 to 3 FTMH. (Clinical number, NCT00286507.) (Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 201152: 1586-1592) DOI:10.1167/iovs.10-6287

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1586-1592
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science
Issue number3
Early online date4 Nov 2010
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • Clinical trial
  • Surgery
  • Vitrectomy
  • Removal
  • Stage-2


Dive into the research topics of 'Internal limiting membrane peeling versus no peeling for idiopathic full-thickness macular hole: a pragmatic randomized controlled trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this