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Reopening of previously closed macular holes after cataract extraction.

PURPOSE: To evaluate the frequency of reopening of macular holes after cataract extraction.

DESIGN: Retrospective, comparative, consecutive case series.

METHODS: Two hundred and eleven eyes with idiopathic macular holes closed by vitrectomy were divided into four groups: Group 1: prior cataract extraction; Group 2: vitrectomy then cataract extraction; Group 3: vitrectomy only; and Group 4: vitrectomy and cataract extraction as a combined procedure. The main outcome measure of macular hole reopening was evaluated in relationship to multiple variables.

RESULTS: Two hundred and eleven eyes were included: Group 1: 56 eyes; Group 2: 86 eyes; Group 3: 41 eyes; and Group 4: 28 eyes. Twenty-four macular holes reopened (11%) (mean follow-up 26.6 months, range, three to 118 months). The greatest number of macular hole reopenings, 17 (20%), were in Group 2. Cox multivariate analysis failed to demonstrate an association between duration of hole, serum use, internal limiting membrane peeling, or stage and reopening of a macular hole. Cox analysis showed a four-fold increased risk of reopening in Group 2 eyes (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.7 to 11.2; P = .002). Eyes with cystoid macular edema after cataract extraction had a seven-fold increased risk of macular hole reopening (7.72; 95% CI: 2.79 to 21.3; P < .0005). Kaplan-Meier analysis showed increased rates of macular hole reopening in Group 2 eyes compared to the other 3 groups combined (log-rank P < .00005).

CONCLUSIONS: Cataract extraction after successful vitrectomy for macular hole, when complicated by cystoid macular edema (CME), may increase the risk of macular hole reopening.

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