Purpose: To compare thickness and reflectance of retinal layer findings in patients with idiopathic epiretinal membranes (ERMs) before and after surgery with those of normal controls. Design: Retrospective study. Participants: Patients with ERMs before and after surgery and healthy controls. Methods: Spectral-domain (SD) OCT imaging of eyes with ERMs before and after surgery and of healthy eyes were analyzed for morphologic appearance and using a customized algorithm to measure retinal layer reflectance and thickness. Findings were correlated with visual acuity outcomes. Main Outcome Measures: Retinal layer thickness and reflectance. Results: Thirty-four ERM and 12 healthy eyes were identified. Mean preoperative best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) improved from 0.53±0.31 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (logMAR; Snellen equivalent, 20/68) to 0.41±0.25 logMAR (Snellen equivalent, 20/51) after surgery (P = 0.030). Differences in reflectance and thickness of retinal layers were identified among the preoperative ERM, postoperative ERM, and healthy eyes. High preoperative reflectance of the internal limiting membrane (ILM) to outer plexiform layer (OPL) was correlated with better postoperative BCVA (r = –0.451; P = 0.007). A larger improvement in BCVA was correlated with preoperative thick measurements of the outer nuclear layer (r = 0.514; P = 0.002), high reflectance of the group of layers from the ILM to the OPL (r = 0.426; P = 0.012), and low reflectance of the photoreceptor layer (r = –0.453; P = 0.007). Using linear regression analysis, better postoperative BCVA was associated with better preoperative vision (standardized regression coefficient, 0.553; P = 0.001) and high reflectance of the group of layers from the ILM to OPL (standardized regression coefficient, –0.526; P = 0.001). A larger improvement in BCVA was associated with worse preoperative BCVA (standardized regression coefficient, –0.539; P < 0.001) and high reflectance of the group of layers from the ILM to OPL (standardized regression coefficient, –0.428; P = 0.001). Conclusions: Quantitative differences in reflectance and thickness among preoperative, postoperative, and normal SD OCT imaging allow assessment of retina layer changes secondary to ERMs. High reflectance of the ILM to OPL correlated with and was associated with better postoperative BCVA and improvement in BCVA.
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