Objective: To evaluate the results of pars plana vitrectomy and membrane stripping for visually significant macular epiretinal membranes associated with chronic idiopathic pars planitis, Design: Consecutive noncomparative case series. Participants and Methods: The records of all patients who underwent pars plana vitrectomy for pars planitis from 1988 through 1997 were retrospectively reviewed. Seven eyes of five patients who were diagnosed with visually significant epiretinal membranes associated with pars planitis and who underwent vitrectomy and membrane stripping were analyzed. Patients were diagnosed with pars planitis based on characteristic clinical signs and pertinent negative laboratory test results. Intervention: Pars plana vitrectomy and epiretinal membrane stripping. Main Outcome Measures: Visual acuity and inflammatory grade were compared between the last preoperative visit and the most recent follow-up visit. Intraoperative and postoperative complications were also analyzed. Results: The mean patient age was 31 years (range, 6 to 45 years). The mean duration of uveitis was 6.4 years (range, 6 months to 13 years). All patients were treated with combinations of periocular, topical, and oral corticosteroids before surgery. Five eyes had laser retinopexy, and two eyes had cryopexy to the inferior retina at the time of surgery. Five eyes had at least 3 Shellen lines of visual acuity improvement, and visual acuity in one eye worsened by 2 lines. Mean preoperative visual acuity was 20/73 (range, 20/50 to 20/300), and mean final visual acuity was 20/37 (range, 20/25 to 20/70). Five eyes had a final visual acuity of 20/40. Vitritis improved in all cases. Mean follow-up was 23 months (range, 3 to 54 months). Six of seven eyes had progressive cataract development, four of which underwent cataract extraction. No other intraoperative or postoperative complications occurred. Conclusions: Removal of epiretinal membranes associated with pars planitis can be safely performed and may result in improved visual acuity. Patients often require subsequent cataract extraction to obtain the best long-term final acuity.
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