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Clinical science
Predicting visual success in macular hole surgery
  1. B Gupta1,
  2. D A H Laidlaw1,
  3. T H Williamson1,
  4. S P Shah2,
  5. R Wong1,
  6. S Wren1
  1. 1
    Department of Ophthalmology, St Thomas’s Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2
    International Centre for Eye Health, Clinical Research Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mr D A H Laidlaw, Department of Ophthalmology, St Thomas’s Hospital, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7EH, UK; Alistair.Laidlaw{at}


Aim: Data on the outcome of surgery facilitate informed preoperative patient counselling. Most studies on the outcome of surgery for idiopathic full thickness macular hole surgery have concentrated on rates of anatomical closure. The aim of this study was to identify factors predicting visual success (better than 20/40; 6/12 Snellen) following macular hole surgery.

Methods: A retrospective study of 133 patients undergoing standardised macular hole surgery with at least 3 months of postoperative follow-up. All patients underwent preoperative measurement of the maximum macular hole diameter using optical coherence tomography.

Results: Multivariable regression analysis identified that age, preoperative visual acuity and macular hole size were significant predictors of visual success. The resulting model correctly classified the visual outcome of 80% of cases. Predicted rates of visual success varied from 93% in patients <60 years old with visual acuity better than 6/24 and a hole diameter of <350 μm, to 2% in patients those >79 years old with visual acuity of 6/60 or worse and hole diameter of >500 μm.

Conclusion: The results provide a simple and clinically useful model to employ when counselling patients on macular hole surgery.

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and Peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Ethics approval Obtained

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