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Extensive Endolaser During Vitrectomy for Primary Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment Is Associated with Epiretinal Membrane Formation.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Epiretinal membrane (ERM) formation, a common complication following pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) for primary rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) repair, is associated with vision loss and metamorphopsias. Although laser retinopexy is generally associated with ERM formation, the correlation between the extent of laser treatment and ERM formation during PPV is not well established. The aim of this study was to identify risk factors associated with ERM formation including extend of endolaser retinopexy after PPV for primary RRD.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A retrospective, observational case series of 181 consecutive patients (185 eyes) who underwent PPV for primary RRD repair by a single surgeon was performed. Charts were reviewed by two independent reviewers, and de-identified data including patient characteristics and intraoperative findings such as number of laser spots placed were recorded.

RESULTS: Postoperative ERM formation occurred in 75 eyes (40.5%) of which 68 (90.6%) were Stage 1, two (2.6%) were Stage 2, three (4%) were Stage 3, and two (2.6%) were Stage 4. Only one patient required secondary PPV for visually significant ERM. Patients with ERM had significantly more laser spots compared with patients with no ERM, with a mean of 807 and 519 laser spots respectively (95% CI: 387.6 to -187.3; P < 0.0001). Univariable analysis identified ≥750 endolaser spots (odds ratio [OR] = 4.0, 95% CI: 2.0 to 8.4; P < 0.0001), ≥4 retinal tears (OR = 2.8, 95%: CI 1.4 to 6.4; P = 0.005), and female sex (OR = 2.0, 95% CI: 1.1 to 3.7; P = 0.02) as significantly associated factors. After adjusting for potential confounding factors (ie, age, sex, macula status, lattice degeneration, length of symptoms, vitreous hemorrhage, number of endolaser spots, number of retinal tears) in multivariable logistic regression, ≥ 750 endolaser spots (OR = 2.4; P = 0.04) and female sex (OR = 2.4; P = 0.03) persisted as significant independent factors.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study identified ≥ 750 laser spots and female sex as independent risk factors for ERM formation following PPV for RRD with an OR of 2.4 each. Although the incidence of ERM formation was generally high (40.5%), only one case required secondary PPV with ERM peeling, and visual outcomes were comparable between patients with and without ERM at final follow up. While endolaser photocoagulation is critical for successful RRD repair, consideration of the risk of ERM formation with extensive laser exposure is warranted. [ Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging Retina 2024;55:XX-XX.] .

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