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Preoperative Visual Acuity Thresholds in Pars Plana Vitrectomy for Epiretinal Membrane: A Systematic Review.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: This review consolidates findings from studies that used a preoperative visual acuity (VA) threshold as an indication for epiretinal membrane (ERM) surgery.

METHODS: The literature was systematically searched using Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library from January 2000 to October 2022 to select studies reporting on pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) for ERM that used a preoperative VA threshold as an inclusion criterion. Primary outcomes were final best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and change in BCVA relative to baseline. Secondary outcomes included risk of intra- and postoperative complications.

RESULTS: A total of 639 eyes from seven studies were included. The most liberal preoperative VA threshold was 20/28.5 or worse, whereas the most conservative threshold was worse than 20/60. The mean preoperative BCVA was 0.55 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (logMAR) (∼20/70), and the mean postoperative BCVA was 0.35 logMAR (∼20/45). Generally, VA improved relative to baseline, regardless of the preoperative VA threshold. The smallest improvement in VA was observed in a study where the pre-operative VA to consider surgery was liberal (20/30 or worse), whereas the greatest VA improvement was observed in a study that used a conservative preoperative VA threshold (worse than 20/60).

CONCLUSIONS: The greatest improvement in BCVA was observed in studies where a conservative pre-operative VA threshold was used. The decision to operate should involve a patient-centered approach with a thorough discussion of the risks and benefits of PPV, regardless of the preoperative VA threshold used. [ Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging Retina 2024;55:xx-xx.] .

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