PURPOSE. To evaluate the changes in the focal macular electroretinogram (FMERG) and foveal retinal thickness after vitrectomy for diabetic macular edema (DME). METHODS. FMERGs were elicited from 25 eyes of 21 patients (ages 29-75 years) who underwent vitrectomy for DME by a 15° stimulus. A posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) was created during surgery in 19 eyes (group 1), and 4 eyes had a PVD before surgery (group 2). In the remaining 2 eyes, a PVD could not be created (group 3). FMERGs were recorded before and 3, 6, and 12 months after vitrectomy. The foveal thickness, determined by optical coherence tomography (OCT), and visual acuity were measured on the same day as the FMERG recordings. RESULTS. The postoperative visual acuity (logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution [logMAR]) improved gradually after the surgery and was significantly better at 12 months in eyes in group 1 (P = 0.0393). The postoperative mean foveal thickness was significantly less at 3 months after surgery in group 1 eyes (P = 0.0006), and there was a further decrease thereafter. In the 2 eyes in group 3, the decreased foveal thickness 3 and 6 months after surgery became thicker at 12 months. The mean b-wave amplitude of the FMERGs increased significantly at 12 months in group 1 eyes (P = 0.0297). The mean implicit time of a- and b-waves was more delayed at 3 months, and the change in a-wave was statistically significant in group 1 eyes (P = 0.0474). There was a wide range of changes in the b-wave amplitude at 12 months, however, the increase in the b-wave was correlated with the decrease in foveal thickness (r = .49, P = 0.012). CONCLUSIONS. A disparity in the time course and degree of recovery of the foveal thickness and macular retinal function was found in eyes with DME after vitrectomy. Part of the functional recovery could be attributed to decreased retinal thickness and the absorption of the subretinal fluid.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience