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This article is the author’s final published version in Clinical Ophthalmology, Volume 13, December 2019, Pages 2599-2606.

The published version is available at Copyright © Ghassemi et al.


Purpose: To evaluate and compare three different techniques of inverted internal limiting membrane (ILM) flap in the treatment of large idiopathic full-thickness macular hole.

Methods: In a comparative interventional case series, 72 eyes from 72 patients with large (> 400 µm) full-thickness macular hole were randomly enrolled into three different groups: group A - hemicircular ILM peel with temporally hinged inverted flap; group B - circular ILM peel with temporally hinged inverted flap; and group C - circular ILM peel with superior inverted flap. Best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), anatomical closure rate, and ellipsoid zone (EZ) or external limiting membrane (ELM) defects were evaluated preoperatively, at week 1, and months 1, 3 and 6 after surgery.

Results: There were 24 eyes in group A, 23 in group B, and 25 in group C. In all three groups, larger diameter macular hole was associated with worse preoperative visual acuity (r=0.625, P<0.001). Mean BCVA improved significantly in all three groups 6 months after surgery (0.91vs 0.55, p<0.001). 6 months after surgery, mean BCVA improved from 0.91 logMAR to 0.52±0.06 in group A, 0.90 to 0.53±0.06 in group B, and 0.91 to 0.55±0.11 in group C. In group A vs. B vs. C, improvement of BCVA was 0.380±0.04 vs. 0.383±0.04 vs. 0.368±0.11 logMAR, with no statistically significant difference between groups (P=0.660). The rate of successful hole closure was 87.5% vs. 91.3% vs. 100%. Although the closure rate was 100% in Group C (circular ILM peel with superiorly hinged inverted flap), this difference was not statistically significant (P=0.115).

Conclusion: ILM peel with an inverted flap is a highly effective procedure for the treatment of large, full-thickness macular hole. Different flap techniques have comparable results, indicating that the technique can be chosen based on surgeon preference.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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