Upon observing vitreomacular traction (VMT) in patients with diabetic retinopathy, researchers found that spontaneous release occurs more frequently in eyes with less adhesion and hyperreflective dots and without epiretinal membranes.

The retrospective study included 74 eyes of 65 patients, some of who received intravitreal injections or panretinal photocoagulation. The researchers evaluated the following on OCT: spontaneous release of VMT, horizontal length of VMT, presence of hyperreflective retinal spots, presence of epiretinal membranes and grade of VMT.

The team observed spontaneous release in 37.8% of eyes and found that the horizontal length of VMT was significantly lower in this group compared with those with persistent VMT. Those with persistent VMT had significantly higher rates of hyperreflectivity and epiretinal membranes than those with spontaneous VMT.

In terms of previous intravitreal injection or panretinal photocoagulation treatment, no significant differences were observed between spontaneous and persistent VMT; these treatments had no effect on spontaneous release. The researchers noted, however, that absence of hyperreflective retinal spots was the “most important prognostic factor for the spontaneous release of VMT.”

While the study authors concluded that intravitreal injections and panretinal photocoagulation had no effect, they wrote in their paper that “studies in more homogeneous groups are needed to evaluate the effect of [the treatments] on spontaneous release of VMT.”

Garip R, Çinar AK, Çinar AC, et al. The natural course of vitreomacular traction in eyes with diabetic retinopathy and factors associated with spontaneous release. Retina. December 23, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].