Reflectivity and thickness analysis of epiretinal membranes using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography

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5 Scopus citations


AIM: To compare thickness and reflectivity spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) findings in patients with idiopathic epiretinal membranes (ERMs), before and after ERM peeling surgery, with normal controls. METHODS: A retrospective study analyzed SD-OCTs of eyes with ERMs undergoing ERM peeling surgery by one surgeon from 2008 to 2010 and normal control eyes. SD-OCTs were analyzed using a customized algorithm to measure reflectivity and thickness. The relationship between the SD-OCT findings and best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) outcomes was also studied. RESULTS: Thirty-four ERM eyes and 12 normal eyes were identified. Preoperative eyes had high reflectivity and thickness of the group of layers from the internal limiting membrane (ILM) to the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and the group of layers from the ILM to the external limiting membrane (ELM). The values of reflectivity of these two groups of layers decreased postoperatively, but were still higher than normal eyes. In contrast, preoperative eyes had lower reflectivity of two 10×15 pixel regions of interest (ROIs) incorporating: 1) ELM + outer nuclear layer (ONL) and 2) photoreceptor layer (PRL) + RPE, compared to controls. The values of reflectivity of these ROIs increased postoperatively, but were still lower than normal controls. A larger improvement in BCVA postoperatively was correlated with a greater degree of abnormal preoperative reflectivity and thickness findings. CONCLUSION: Quantitative differences in reflectivity and thickness between preoperative, postoperative, and normal SD-OCTs allow assessment of changes in the retina secondary to ERM. Our study identified hyperreflective inner retina changes and hyporeflective outer retina changes in patients with ERMs. SD-OCT quantitative measures of reflectivity and/or thickness of specific groups of retinal layers and/or ROIs correlate with improvement in BCVA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-98
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 18 2016


  • Epiretinal membranes
  • Imaging
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Reflectivity
  • Retina
  • Vitrectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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