Epiretinal membrane was severely under-detected before cataract surgery, resulting in inflated reporting of the condition postoperatively, according to a large study.
The Australian Prospective Cataract Surgery and Age-Related Macular Degeneration Study included 1,394 patients aged 64 years or older who underwent mydriatic retinal photography and phacoemulsification; 1,040 patients had retinal photographs taken preoperatively and 1 month postoperatively.
Investigators compared the cumulative incidence of epiretinal membrane (ERM) from 1 month to 3 years postoperatively to the 5-year incidence of idiopathic ERM in an age-matched subset of 781 participants culled from the Blue Mountains Eye Study (BMES) who had no baseline retinal pathologies conducive to ERM formation, significant cataract or cataract surgery.
Overall prevalence of ERM was 13.8% in the 1,394 eyes included in the analysis. Among the 1,040 eyes with preoperative and postoperative images, ERM prevalence was 3.1% preoperatively and 14.8% postoperatively.
The 3-year incidence of ERM was 12.1% in the study cohort and 4.4% in the BMES comparator subset.
Disclosure: Calvin Sze-Un Fong, MD, received a travel grant from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. Paul Mitchell, MD, serves on advisory boards for Novartis and Bayer, and has received fees and payments from those companies. Jie Jin Wang, MD, received funding from a National Health and Medical Research Council Senior Research Fellowship. The remaining authors have no relevant financial disclosures.