Spectral versus time-domain OCT in detecting preoperative epiretinal membranes that accompany macular holes



To compare the sensitivities of spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) versus time-domain OCT (TD-OCT) in identifying epiretinal membranes (ERM) preoperatively in patients who underwent surgery for full-thickness macular holes (FTMH).


This is an interventional retrospective case series of 59 eyes diagnosed with FTMHs who underwent 25-G pars plana vitrectomy with internal limiting membrane peeling between 2009 and 2015. Preoperative OCTs were obtained by SD-OCT (Spectralis, Heidelberg, Germany) or TD-OCT (Stratus, Carl Zeiss Meditec, Dublin, CA, USA). Volume scans were reviewed for ERM accompanying the FTMH. This was compared to indocyanine green-negative staining and intraoperative findings of ERM as the gold standard.


Baseline characteristics between the SD-OCT and TD-OCT groups were comparable. Mean duration of postoperative follow-up was 41.4 weeks (±49.0). Of 59 eyes, 33 (55.9%) exhibited an ERM intraoperatively. Four ERMs (SD-OCT group) compared to 12 (TD-OCT group) were not visualized on preoperative OCT (p = 0.003). Sensitivity and specificity of SD-OCT in ERM detection was 79% and 100% compared to 14% and 91% for TD-OCT. Visual acuity improved in both arms (0.5 and 0.3 logMAR units in SD-OCT and TD-OCT, respectively (p = 0.002, 0.0002).


We found that SD-OCT was superior to TD-OCT in identifying the presence of ERM preoperatively in patients who underwent macular hole surgery. Since ERMs may decrease the chance of successful pharmacologic vitreolysis, we recommend using SD-OCT over TD-OCT in the evaluation of patients with FTMH to more accurately identify ERMs and allow more comprehensive treatment decisions (pharmacologic versus surgical).

Eur J Ophthalmol 2017; 27(2): 185 - 189




Prethy Rao, Yoshihiro Yonekawa, Benjamin J. Thomas, Kimberly A. Drenser

Article History


Financial support: No financial support was received for this submission.
Conflict of interest: None of the authors has conflict of interest with this submission.

This article is available as full text PDF.

  • If you are a Subscriber, please log in now.

  • Article price: Eur 36,00
  • You will be granted access to the article for 72 hours and you will be able to download any format (PDF or ePUB). The article will be available in your login area under "My PayPerView". You will need to register a new account (unless you already own an account with this journal), and you will be guided through our online shop. Online purchases are paid by Credit Card through PayPal.
  • If you are not a Subscriber you may:
  • Subscribe to this journal
  • Unlimited access to all our archives, 24 hour a day, every day of the week.



  •  Department of Ophthalmology, Beaumont Eye Institute, Royal Oak, MI - USA
  •  Associated Retinal Consultants, Royal Oak, MI - USA

Article usage statistics

The blue line displays unique views in the time frame indicated.
The yellow line displays unique downloads.
Views and downloads are counted only once per session.

No supplementary material is available for this article.