OCT’s deftness at measuring depth and thickness of ocular structures could be put to use in assessing vision as well, according to a new study that used it to investigate the degree of metamorphopsia in patients with epiretinal membrane (ERM).

Japanese researchers studied the associations between visual function and OCT parameters in 39 eyes with ERM. The team defined a new parameter: the area of gap between the ERM and the retinal surface, calling it sukima, which means gap in Japanese. 

The results show sukima was significantly related to both central retinal thickness (CRT) and maximum retinal fold depth; it was also found to be the parameter closely associated with the degree of metamorphopsia in patients with ERMs. Sukima value was significantly correlated with visual acuity, they noted.

“The reason why sukima was associated with VA still remains unclear; however, one possibility is that sukima was associated with VA by influencing CRT,” the authors conclude in their study. “Another possibility is that parafoveal sukima might affect the foveal microstructure to some extent in eyes with ERMs.” Future studies will attempt to clarify the effect of sukima on the foveal structure in ERMs, they noted.

Murase A, Asaoka R, Inoue T, et al. Relationship between optical coherence tomography parameter and visual function in eyes with epiretinal membrane. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 2021;62:6