Traumatic macular hole study: a multicenter comparative study between immediate vitrectomy and six-month observation for spontaneous closure

Hui-Jin Chen, Ying Jin, Li-Jun Shen, Yi Wang, Zhi-Yong Li, Xiao-Yun Fang, Zhi-Liang Wang, Xu-Dong Huang, Zhi-Jun Wang, Zhi-Zhong Ma


Background: Closure of traumatic macular hole (TMH) can be achieved spontaneously or by surgical intervention. Thus far, there exist no prospective comparative studies that have analyzed the difference between the two modalities. This study aimed to compare the anatomical and visual recovery of eyes with TMH following either an immediate vitrectomy or six-month observation.
Methods: This was a multicenter prospective comparative study. Eight centers participated in the study. Patient data from 40 eyes with a recent history of blunt ocular trauma and newly formed full-thickness TMH were recruited in this study. The participating patients selected between an early vitrectomy or a six-month observation after a doctor explained the potential benefits and risks of both strategies in an unbiased manner. Twenty-five patients underwent an immediate vitrectomy, and 15 patients received six-month observation. Patients were assessed by spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) and best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA).
Results: Closure rates were 66.7% for the observational group, and 100% for the surgical group (P=0.002). There were no vision-threatening ocular complications in both groups. For the observational group, the mean closure time was 2.5±1.6 months, and 80% of the hole closure occurred within 3 months; cystic edema on the edge of the hole at baseline was significantly more frequent in the non-closed subgroup than in the closed subgroup (P=0.03). There were no significant differences in the foveal microstructure and in the final visual outcome between the spontaneously closed cases and the surgically closed cases.
Conclusions: TMH had a moderately high incidence of spontaneous closure, but an immediate vitrectomy achieved an even higher closure rate. Vitrectomy was effective and safe to treat TMH, while a 3-month observation for spontaneous closure may be an alternative modality for TMH management. Cystic edema on the edge of the hole may be an unfavorable factor for the spontaneous closure of TMH.