PURPOSE: To evaluate the surgical results in a series of patients with diabetic macular edema associated with traction from a thickened and taut posterior hyaloid membrane and to identify features associated with better visual outcome. METHODS: We reviewed the clinical records of ten consecutive patients who underwent pars plana vitrectomy in one eye for diabetic macular edema that was preoperatively attributed to thickening and traction of the posterior hyaloid membrane. RESULTS: Best-corrected, preoperative visual acuity was 20/200 in seven eyes, 20/300 in one eye, and 20/400 in two eyes. Intraoperatively, seven patients were found to have an attached posterior hyaloid membrane which was thickened and taut. Among these seven patients, postoperative best-corrected visual acuity improved by six lines in two eyes, by five lines in one eye, by two lines in one eye, and remained within one line of preoperative visual acuity in three eyes. The other three patients had an epiretinal membrane simulating an attached and thickened posterior hyaloid membrane. CONCLUSIONS: Vitrectomy effectively improved visual acuity in some eyes with diabetic macular edema associated with traction from a thickened and taut posterior hyaloid membrane. Despite careful preoperative examination with a fundus contact lens, however, in some patients it may be difficult to assess how the posterior hyaloid membrane contributes to the macular edema. In selected patients, early surgical intervention may be associated with better visual outcome.
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