Aims To evaluate the intraoperative applicability and safety of a mixture of brilliant blue G and sodium hyaluronate (visco-BBG) for staining the inner limiting membrane (ILM).
Methods A retrospective consecutive case series. Seventy-four eyes that had undergone ILM peeling were studied. During vitrectomy, ILM peeling with visco-BBG (visco-BBG group) was performed on 40 eyes; 12 with a macular hole (MH), 26 with an epimacular membrane (ERM) and 2 with a retinal detachment due to a MH (MHRD). ILM peeling with BBG dissolved in balanced salt solution (BSS-BBG group) was performed on 34 eyes; 9 with a MH, 23 with an ERM and 2 with a MHRD. The main outcome measures were the distribution of the dye within the vitreous cavity and the retinal sensitivity in the MH patients of the two groups by microperimetry.
Results The visco-BBG was injected over the retina where the ILM was intended to be peeled, and it stained the ILM in all cases. It did not disperse throughout the vitreous cavity or into the subretinal space. The BSS-BBG dispersed throughout the vitreous cavity, and its distribution was difficult to control. The two solutions did not stain the epiretinal membranes or any residual posterior hyaloid membrane. The difference in the retinal sensitivity between the two patients with MH of two groups was not significant. No complications were found in the visco-BBG group, although an accidental retinal perforation was found in one eye of the BSS-BBG group. Transmission electron microscopy confirmed that the membrane peeled was the ILM.
Conclusions Visco-BBG can be a useful method to assist macular surgery and can overcome some of the disadvantages of conventional BBG solutions dissolved in BSS.