Aims: To investigate the relationship between the presence of the photoreceptor inner and outer segment (IS/OS) junction and visual acuity after epiretinal membrane (ERM) surgery.
Methods: Seventy eyes of 70 consecutive patients who had undergone vitrectomy for idiopathic ERMs were examined by optical coherence tomography (OCT) preoperatively and at 3 and 6 months postoperatively. The IS/OS junction was graded into three grades. The time course of recovery of the IS/OS junction, central foveal thickness (CFT), and best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) during the postoperative period was studied.
Results: A normal IS/OS junction was detected in 47.1% of the eyes preoperatively, 65.7% at 3 months postoperatively, and 75.7% at 6 months postoperatively. There was a significant correlation between the IS/OS grade and the BCVA preoperatively and at 3 and 6 months postoperatively (P=0.0001, P<0.0001, P<0.0001, respectively). The preoperative IS/OS junction grade was significantly correlated with the BCVA at 6 months (P=0.0239). The CFT was not significantly correlated with the BCVA at 3 and 6 months.
Conclusion: The presence of a normal IS/OS junction was associated with good visual acuity after ERM surgery. A normal IS/OS junction probably indicates a morphological and functional recovery of the photoreceptors.