To evaluate the ectopic inner foveal layer (EIFL) staging scheme as a visual prognostic factor for patients undergoing epiretinal membrane (ERM) surgery.
Retrospective study of 88 pseudophakic patients with diagnosis of idiopathic ERM who underwent ERM surgery with a minimum follow-up of 12 months. Preoperative and postoperative EIFL staging was correlated with the final best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA). As a secondary outcome, evaluation of the proportion of patients achieving final best-corrected visual acuity ≥20/40 in each stage was assessed.
Based on the EIFL staging scheme, of 88 pseudophakic eyes analyzed, 24 (27.4%) were diagnosed as Stage 2 ERM, 45 (51.1%) as Stage 3 ERM, and 19 (21.5%) as Stage 4 ERM preoperatively. At the final follow-up visit, 70.8% of eyes with Stage 2 showed an improvement in EIFL staging scheme, while 68% of eyes in Stage 3 and 4 remained the same. The final best-corrected visual acuity significantly improved with all EIFL stages (
P= <0.05). However, earlier stages were associated with better visual outcomes both preoperatively and postoperatively (Stage 2 > Stage 3 > Stage 4 P< 0.001). Final best-corrected visual acuity ≥20/40 was reached in 91.7% of eyes with Stage 2, 42.3% with Stage 3, and 5.2% with Stage 4. Conclusion:
The EIFL staging scheme is an easy, fast, and reproducible method to evaluate visual prognosis with ERM surgery. Surgery on Stage 2 ERM results in significantly better visual outcomes and a greater chance of reversibility in anatomical changes.