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  • Treatment of Retinal Tears and ERM Formation

    By Jean Shaw
    Selected By: Andrew P. Schachat, MD

    Journal Highlights

    Ophthalmology Retina, December 2019

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    Retinal tears can be treated with laser retinopexy or cryoretinopexy. Is one method more likely than the other to lead to formation of an epiretinal membrane (ERM)? Blackorby et al. set out to evaluate this issue and found no difference in the incidence, timing, or severity of ERM formation between the two treatments.

    For this study, the researchers eval­uated the charts of patients treated at a single surgical site over a 11-year peri­od. Data were available on 2,257 eyes (2,257 patients). Of these, 1,655 were treated with laser retinopexy, and 602 were treated with cryoretinopexy.

    All told, 74 patients (3.2%) expe­rienced an ERM after treatment for a retinal tear. Of these, 26 had under­gone cryoretinopexy, and 48 had been treated with laser retinopexy. The average time to ERM development was 11.5 months for those in the cryoreti­nopexy group and 12 months in those who had received laser retinopexy (p = 0.878). Seven ERMs required surgical treatment; of these, two were in the cry­oretinopexy group.

    Given the lack of a statistically sig­nificant difference in the incidence of macular ERM formation between the two groups, the researchers recommend that the choice of treatment for retinal tears rest on such issues as media clar­ity, retinal tear position, and extent of pathologic features.

    The original article can be found here.