Internal limiting membrane peeling versus no peeling for idiopathic full-thickness macular hole: a pragmatic randomized controlled trial.
Lois N., Burr J., Norrie J., Vale L., Cook J., McDonald A., Boachie C., Ternent L., McPherson G.
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).This was a pragmatic multicenter randomized controlled trial. Eligible participants from 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.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.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 Trials.gov number, NCT00286507.).